President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca revealed that a year ago, during the height of the debate on the IVF law amendments, she assisted Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne to convince himself with the arguments presented by the civil society against the introduction of surrogacy pregnancy.
Interviewed during this evening’s edition of Rasimbras, President Coleiro Preca says that the political division during the past five years was heart breaking and stated that privately she admonished politicians.
She says that the five-year experience was not easy due to the political fever that was frequently higher than normal. President Coleiro Preca added that there were moments when she admonished politicians on words they used towards each other and which she felt increased division.
“I feel sorry that there were moments when I felt that my country was going backwards in this context. We ended up reviling or insulting each other. Therefore our politicians should have been more ethical in the way they presented an argument”.
Asked about her role in April 2017 when she called the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader for separate meetings on the Egrant case, which eventually led to an early election – the President said it is unethical to speak on what was said in private between her and the leaders”.
“We should be results-oriented; when there is a result and not the process of achieving a result”.
On whether she could have done more so that the political parties start earlier to discuss constitutional reforms, the President stated that she always strived to bring them around a table. However, it was only recently that she noted change.
“Before the 2017 election there was this chair appointed for the convention. It was only towards the end of last year that the parties decided to appoint their representatives and start the steering committee”.
During the five-year term as President, she says that there were moments she felt being in a clamp.
“Yes, there were varies times where I felt………..now do not forget…my background also. I came from a political life where I delivered a public argument, discuss with a certain freedom but when you are a President, you have to choose. Either answer to everything and undergo a contentious presidency, or you understand that the responsibility of a President is that you are above board as much as possible”.
She stressed on the need for a change in the function and powers of the President. “Our Constitution does not provide powers to the President. It says that the President of Malta is the custodian, the guardian of the constitution, but in reality when you seek the tools you have to really be the guardian, you find that there is nothing”.
Despite the limitations, she confirms that in the height of the debate on the IVF law amendments, she convinced Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne to amend parts of the proposed legislation and that she, together with others, opposed them.
“Above all, I think that the civil society was drawing the attention on the surrogacy issue; the Government listened to it, not my intervention, I as President was a facilitator”.
President Coleiro Preca appealed that those entering in public life should seriously consider to raise the standards. “I think that everyone in public life, even those running public enterprises, need training and full awareness of the responsibilities and the way we behave”.
The first part of the interview will be transmitted this evening at 7.30pm on TVM, while the second part is transmitted on Tuesday at the same time.