Election to be held in 2022 – PM / Malta News Briefing – Monday 25 October 2021

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Update 2100

A motorcyclist died after falling off his bike in St Julian’s. The 53-year-old Serbian man from Birkirkara was riding along Mikiel Anton Vassalli Road at around 5.15pm, the police said in a statement.

Update 1745

Times of Malta says that air pollution over Grand Harbour has reached shocking levels, BirdLife Malta said on Monday, citing studies taken by a Danish scientist.

MaltaToday says that independent MP Konrad Mizzi should testify before parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Monday, insisting government will not protect him.

Newsbook says that Nationalist Party deputy leader Robert Arrigo has returned to Parliament for the first time since the end of its summer recess, in what marks his recovery from a health ordeal which saw him spend over a week in intensive care.

TVM says that a 31-year-old man from Żabbar was not found guilty of going after his father with a firearm, after his parents chose not to testify.

Updated 1645 – PM Abela says election to be held in 2022

Prime Minister Robert Abela has affirmed today that the general election will be held next year. He argued that the country will not go to an election this year and the date of the general election will be dictated by the national interest.

“I have always stressed that one of the criteria that will determine when the election will take place is the national interest. I do not think that it is in the national interest to hold an election this year, and therefore it will be held in its year, that of 2022 “, said the Prime Minister. Abela blamed the Opposition that raised the prospects of a November election, creating uncertainty for businesses”.

Updated 1240 – Mid-Day Briefing

TM to stop importers who hiked car prices from benefiting from grants scheme: Transport Malta said today that car importers that increased prices soon after a budget incentive was announced will be excluded from a grants scheme aimed at encouraging drivers to go for electric or hybrid vehicles. The regulator had in the aftermath of the budget warned car traders not to hike prices and wrote to all the importers to let them know the issue was being probed. An official from Transport Malta told The Times of Malta that “the extensive grants the government shall offer are intended to render new electric and hybrid plug-in vehicles more affordable to consumers and to facilitate this modal shift from fuel-based vehicles to such type of vehicles and, hence, it is the authority’s firm intention to clamp down on any such abusive practices by new motor car dealers”.

Covid-19 Update: Covid-19 cases relented to 219 after 21 new recoveries were reported on Monday as opposed to 13 new cases. 13 patients remain in hospital, four of whom are in ITU. Health authorities said that over 44,000 booster doses had been given so far.

Mizzi dribbles PAC again: Former Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi wrote on Facebook that he informed the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee that both himself and his lawyer will be available to attend from 3 November onwards. The PAC is due to meet again tomorrow at 2pm to continue scrutinising the National Audit Office report on the Electrogas power station deal with Mizzi scheduled to attend. In a press briefing, the Opposition has accused the government of being in cahoots with MP Konrad Mizzi over his hesitancy to testify in front of the Public Accounts Committee. Independent election candidate Arnold Cassola said he had written to the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life, asking him to investigate the former minister for contempt of parliament.

Morning Briefing

Covid-19 Election rules being drafted

Chief Electoral Commissioner Joe Camilleri together with political party representatives and Superintendent for Public Health Charmaine Gauci are drafting rules for a general election during COVID-19, including protocols for ‘managed’ mass meetings, the possibility of extending voting day, and limited access to the normally jam-packed counting hall. The Times of Malta reported on Sunday that a final version of the proposals will be presented to the commission shortly. It is understoodthat the voting process will remain the same but be “somewhat slower”, due to capping on the number of people allowed into voting stations. Special protocols are being drafted for the elderly and vulnerable.

Muscat to testify in Salvini trial

Former prime minister Joseph Muscat has been incldued in a witness list of a criminal trial in Italy against Matteo Salvini, according to Italian media reports. The trial relates to a 2019 incident when Salvini, leader of the far-right League party and a former interior minister, failed to allow a Spanish Open Arms rescue ship carrying 147 rescued migrants to dock in Italian territory. In connection to this, Salvini is being charged with kidnapping and abuse of office. (Maltatoday)

Covid-19 Update
Twelve new Covid-19 cases have been reported by the health authorities in Malta on Sunday. The number of active cases to 227. There are 12 undergoing care at hospital, 4 of which in Intensive Care.

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