Hassan Nahon ‘should apologise’ following parliamentary exchange, says Government
The Government has hit back at Independent MP Marlene Hassan Nahon, describing her parliamentary exchange on Thursday with the Justice Minister ,Gilbert Licudi, as “completely exaggerated and over the top”.
This comes after Mr Licudi, with his microphone off, aimed an expletive at Mrs Hassan Nahon as he told her to “get your facts right”.
The incident led Mrs Hassan Nahon to say that she would lodge a formal complaint against Mr Licudi and also demand a public apology.
In a statement, however, the Government described the incident as a “deliberate ploy” on Mrs Hassan Nahon’s part to “play the victim card” and “cloud the real political issue at stake.”
“The plain fact is that Parliament is not a theatre or a debating society and politicians, however new, are expected to display a level of political maturity and a basic knowledge of reality,” said the statement.
The Government added that members who are not on their feet and whose microphones are switched off have been known to have made aside comments for many decades both in this Parliament and others.
According to the Government, Mrs Hassan Nahon had insinuated that Mr Licudi was either ‘misleading’ or ‘lying’ over an answer that he gave to Parliament.
“Mrs Hassan Nahon stated as a fact that the Minister was saying something different now to what he had said some months ago,” No. 6 Convent Place said, adding that she would not accept Mr Licudi’s word that this was not the case.
“Mrs Hassan Nahon was clearly unprepared for the Parliamentary session, had not done her homework and had not consulted the official record of proceedings in Parliament before stating that the Minister had said something different to what he had said previously,” continued the statement.
It added that the Minister had to read out the official extract of the relevant proceedings of Parliament in order to prove to Mrs Hassan Nahon that he was not misleading the House, because what he said then (when she had first posed the question) was in fact exactly the same as what he had said in Parliament on Thursday.
The Government emphasised that it is “a very serious matter for a Member of Parliament to accuse another of misleading Parliament”.
“To do so without checking her facts and getting those facts wrong when a simple look at the record of previous proceedings would have confirmed that the Minister was entirely consistent in what he had said is inexcusable.”
According to the Government, it is Mrs Hassan Nahon who should apologise.