The Malta Independent 25 May 2019, Saturday

Muscat blasts PN over ‘not wanting elections in a third of localities’; PN hits back

Jeremy Micallef Tuesday, 23 April 2019, 20:37 Last update: about 1 month ago

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat fired the first real shots in the run-up to the MEP and local council electoral campaigns tonight, arguing that the PN did 'not want elections for a third of localities - 21 - in Malta and Gozo.'

Muscat, who was speaking at a political event in Tarxien,  said that in these 21 localities the PN only fielded the exact amount of candidates needed to be in the minority, and as such, the Labour Party could have, should they have wanted, just nominated the exact number of candidates required to fill the rest of the seats and have a majority without the need for an election. He made a particular point of mentioning Qormi, historically a Nationalist stronghold, and noted how they had no fielded enough candidates to hold a majority on the council.

ADVERTISEMENT

The PN in reaction to the allegations, had provided a list of localities which, through the "Labour Party's own spin" would show that the Labour Party itself did not nominate enough candidates for there to be an election, were it not for the amount of candidates presented by the PN.

Muscat opened his speech by admiring the idea of having a meeting "amongst the people", an activity which he expressed is usually "enclosed between 4 walls".

Moving onto the economy, he maintained that there is no doubt that the data published today that showed Malta having a surplus for a third year in a row is news that "makes a difference in the life of every worker, every pensioner, every person young or old in this country".

"This is not only a matter of numbers that ministers enjoy, but an issue that affects every person in the country."

He celebrated the fact that the Maltese and Gozitan people now had a new work in their vocabulary - surplus - a word that "until three years ago was unheard of".

"All we had been used to is debt", he said, "and now we can talk about something new - how people live their lives."

He indicated that this result was gained differently from how other countries had - "they got it by starting to eat themselves from the inside by raising taxes and not building infrastructure," pointing out that for many years Malta had not seen a rise in pensions, roads being fixed, and the deficit was also being financed by not purchasing medicine.

"This was all the result of bad economic management. They didn't realise that if you don't invest in people, then people will give up."

He gave examples of such investments like free childcare and transport for students.

Going back to when they first got elected, Muscat recognized that PN had laid the foundation, but there was also a €250 million deficit in the financial sector.

"We were underwater trying not to drown."

His answer to seeing that deficit was reducing bills and taxes, explaining that we went from a habitual cycle to a virtuous one.

With the money from the surplus, he explained how that was used to pay banks and institutions for interest, and used to care for nurses, pensions and social benefits.

"That's why the surplus is of the people - because with it, the quality of life of the people, and of the country can be real and it will keep being real."

PN Statement

The PN in a statement also provided a list of localities which, through the "Labour Party's spin" would show that the Labour Party itself did not nominate enough candidates for there to be an election, were it not for the amount of candidates presented by the PN.

Some such localities, the PN said, include Attard, Swieqi, Balzan, and others.

The Labour Party had, earlier in the day, made a similar statement to that of the Prime Minister regarding the lack of candidates presented by the PN for the local council elections. The PN, had issued the response to that and said that it is presenting 100 more candidates than it has councillors representing the party today.

The PN accused the Labour Party of not knowing what democracy is by lying and using spin to hide that they were the ones who cancelled the elections of 16 Administrative Committees, and cancelled the local council elections two years ago.

Some of these committees include those of Paceville, Madliena, Burmarrad and Bahar ic-Caghaq.

The PN accused the Labour Party of not allowing thousands of people who live in those areas the ability to vote.


 


  • don't miss