The Malta Independent 23 September 2019, Monday

Indepth: PL will remain a winning party even after Joseph Muscat’s departure – Chris Fearne

INDEPTH online Thursday, 30 May 2019, 08:01 Last update: about 5 months ago

 

The Labour Party will retain its winning formula even after Joseph Muscat’s eventual departure from politics because part of that formula was to set up a team of very competent people around him, Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne said on Indepth.

Fearne and PN Deputy Leader David Agius debated the European Parliament and local council elections. The debate was moderated by The Malta Independent News Editor Neil Camilleri.

Aksed whether the PL would retain its winning streak after Muscat’s exit from politics, Fearne said the PM had gathered a very competent team of people in the cabinet and the party. These people, he said, follow the proposals of the party and are competent to run the country.

“One of the main differences between the two parties is that we have Joseph Muscat, expressing that he will leave politics and his party asking him to stay; whilst the Nationalist have Adrian Delia who says he will remain leader, but members of the party and the public are asking him to leave,” Fearne said. “The only leadership problem is in the Nationalist Party,” he said, adding that Muscat was well respected in the PL and his leadership was not disputed.

He went on to say that the only reason Delia is remaining as PN Leader is simply because no one wishes to take his place.

Commenting on the huge win for the Labour Party, Fearne said that these elections show that the Maltese and Gozitans are happy with the progress the government has made so far in the past six years. “Geographically, we have seen that the PL votes are not only in the south anymore, but are moving and dominating the rest of the island.” He said that the population has voted for the government to keep going in the same direction and that it is the right direction for the future of the island.

When asked whether the Nationalist Party would consider a coalition with the smaller parties, PN Deputy Leader David Agius said that no options should be left out. “It could be a possibility, as of yet the Party has not discussed this concept. I am open to all discussions, but we must not rush into any decisions in the next upcoming days,” he said, urging caution on the matter.  

 

He said that the most important thing is to keep in mind the wellbeing of the country, and also that of the Nationalist Party. He went on to say that the members must not leave their egos behind, and think of a holistic and competent approach for the benefit of the party. 

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Earlier story

It is not only the party leader that should work on the path the party takes but also its members, PN Deputy Leader David Agius said yesterday on Indepth.

He was taking part in a debate with Deputy Prime Minister and PL Deputy Leader Chris Fearne, with the discussion moderated by The Malta Independent News Editor Neil Camilleri. This week’s programme analysed the EP and local council election results.

“I will never point fingers at anyone; instead I should see what I personally can do for the party. Do you see me writing about the problems of the island on social media? No, I gather my colleagues and we discuss and find the right way forward for a better democracy,” Agius said.

Agius went on to say that there are people who have many different opinions on what makes a good or bad leader. “Right now the party must make its own decisions, not just to strengthen the party, but also with the country in mind. We need a strong Nationalist Party to fight corruption and be a stronger opposition in general.” He said that, previously, the Labour Party had also faced problems before Joseph Muscat became leader, and now the Nationalists are facing problems but will continue to remain strong.

In an interview published yesterday in Times of Malta, former PN Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said that Adrian Delia needs to submit his leadership of the Nationalist Party to the test immediately. He said that the PN faces the challenge of presenting Malta’s voters with an economic plan which reflects people’s well-being into the future and reintegrating the country’s reputation internationally.

When asked to react to the former PM’s comments, Agius said that Gonzi had worked hard for the country and brought about numerous results which the island benefitted from greatly. “With all respect to what he said, one must also take into consideration how the political party works. If Adrian Delia needs to go through a vote of confidence, if that is the case we are an open party, and we will work with what is best for the party.”

Asked about the increase in the number of votes obtained by anti-immigration persona Norman Lowell, Deputy PM Chris Fearne said the Labour Party and government are completely against racism.

Apart from a huge win for the Labour Party, these MEP elections have also resulted in Imperium Europa being the third largest party in Malta, having picked up 3.17% of votes with Norman Lowell’s tally of 8,238 first preferences.

When asked whether this shift in voting was caused by a vacuum by the two main parties when it comes to migration issues, Fearne stressed that there has been a growth in Far Right movements internationally and not just locally.

“In Malta this is happening as well, although to a smaller extent when compared to other countries like France.” He said that the values of equality and tolerance are extremely strong in Malta and that that such values are stronger than those far right movement values. “As a party we will continue to push our values of equality and tolerance and that we are an open society who push for equality and open to all cultures.”

The PL will never speak in the way Norman Lowell is speaking to win over the people who voted for him, he said.

Fearne said that when it comes to foreign workers, it is very clear that whilst Maltese are given the opportunity to work abroad, foreigners are also accepted to come to Malta to find employment. “It is very clear that the Labour Party is against racism, we push for tolerance and equality for all.”

 

 

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