The use of the word ‘representatives’ in the communique issued by the office of the President of the Republic

From a reader of my blog

A few days ago, one of the news items was that the Prime Minister, Dr. Robert Abela had a meeting with the Caruana Galizia family. The meeting was held last Wednesday and the media reported that it was attended by members of Daphne’s family, which included her husband, two of her sons, and her sister.  The following day Thursday a similar meeting was held with the President of the Republic of Malta Dr. George Vella. This time round, the communique stated that the President and his wife met “representatives” of the Caruana Galizia family.  Why was the meeting with the President described as having been with representatives of the Caruana Galizia’s family and not directly with the immediate family members as in the case of the meeting with the Prime Minister?

Was this a case of bad English being used by the president’s office staff or did the use of the term representatives highlighted the fact that a different type of meeting was held with the President of the Republic of Malta? 

The term representatives can stand for family members but it can also mean that the members of the family did not attend but sent others to represent the family. It is certainly not the case that the President and his wife were not willing to have a private meeting with the Caruana Galizia family and opted to meet with their representatives instead. From his end, the President had stated that the Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry should spur the reunification of the nation. But using the term representatives does not augur well for such a desired reunification!

It would be strange to accept that the Caruana Galizia family did not have time to meet with the President and chose to send a representative or representatives instead. The family had had time to meet up with the Prime Minister and therefore there was nothing to hold them back from meeting the President.  What makes the use of this term representatives really suspect is the fact that this communique came at a time when there were articles in the press demanding the resignation of the President of the Republic.

One has to remember that both Kevin Cassar and Simon Busuttil asked the President to take responsibility for the State’s failings and resign. Therefore, there was a need for clearer and better wording to be used here.   The use of the word representatives, within this context, could imply that the Caruana Galizia family was supporting these claims and had delegated their representatives to meet up with Dr. George Vella. 

Irrespective of what actually happened, the call for the President’s resignation gives rise to some questions. Why was a similar claim – demanding Dr. Robert Abela’s resignation – not made? Using the same argument, the Prime Minister too should bear responsibility for what has happened. The mind boggles! Why are different yardsticks being used in this case? Why make such a distinction which defeats all sense of logic and rationale? Does one really believe that it would be beneficial to Malta were Dr. Vella to resign? Or is this part of a vaster scenario, whose roots go back to1998?  

If there is anyone who should be resigning in this situation, it is none other than Dr. Robert Abela. He should be the one calling a General Election. At most, Dr. Vella would only tender his resignation after a new Government is elected.  The truth is that were Labour to call an election now, it would win hands down. Therefore, a General Election would only benefit the PL were it to be reaffirmed in office for a further five years and the new Government would be once again be comprising the same politicians who are serving in this current legislature. That would send us back to square one!  

The truth is that, in its present state, the PN does not stand a chance of winning the forthcoming election for in its current state, it is evident that the PN is not even capable of governing a District Committee serenely, let alone take the helm of a nation. 

 Let’s hope that the use of the word “representatives” was a hasty inappropriate choice. Should this not be the case, then a dark shadow is hovering over the Caruana Galizia family and its goal is not justice for Daphne but simply political intrigue. This would mean that this entire inquiry was not intended to bring about normality to our beloved Nation but to further agitate an already turbulent situation.

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