There is a rule that is as old as parliamentary democracy which states that those in power cannot maintain any ties they like with private citizens or engage in transactions with them.

To take a current example that stirred a political maelstrom, it is impermissible for a prime minister to be hosted on a yacht by a private citizen who in turn receives from the PM a public office, a diplomatic passport, and a nomination to gain membership in an international organisation such as the International Olympic Committee.

Obviously such transactions raise reasonable questions. Even the most well-meaning citizen cannot but wonder to what extent and depth the vain ambition of the PM to vacation on a luxury yacht and the vain ambition of the yacht’s hostess to represent the country at various levels are linked.

Questions are also raised by the fact that the PM chose to keep his vacation plans secret - in contrast to his counterparts in other democratic countries – and to secretly promote the candidacy of his hostess for a seat on the International Olympic Committee.

The prime minister has a duty to offer an accounting to the opposition, which quite justly checks his power in the framework of the rule of law in a democratic state.

Above all, the PM is obliged to explain his actions to the citizenry.

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