The Malta Independent 19 August 2019, Monday

PM congratulates Delia for beating ‘Busuttil’s faction’, but says it was ‘no big deal’

Sunday, 28 July 2019, 10:24 Last update: about 21 days ago

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat congratulated PN Leader Adrian Delia for “beating Simon Busuttil’s faction”, although he added that this was really “no big deal.”

On Saturday evening, Adrian Delia won a confidence vote, with two thirds of party councillors who took part in the process voting for Delia to stay.

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Speaking on One Radio on Sunday morning, Muscat compared the situation at the PN with a television series. “It is like watching a TV series and, when you come to the last episode you think that everything will end well, but the episode ends with a cliff-hanger.”

Muscat hoped that the PN and its leader would now “get a grip” and become an effective opposition. “Both the country and the government need a functioning opposition,” Muscat said, adding that the PN should now clearly declare where it stands on increasing female participation in Parliament. While the party’s initial reaction was not negative, the PN has yet to fully declare where it stands on the subject, he said.

Speaking about the recent visit by outgoing European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, Muscat said the visit had highlighted the excellent relationship Malta has with the EC and the EU.

Juncker had spoken very positively about Malta and his speech had shown how the entire EU looks at us, Muscat said. “This does not mean that we are not criticised from time to time, but we have an excellent dynamic relationship.”

He also spoke about the nomination of Helena Dalli to become the next Maltese European Commissioner. Muscat said he was sure that Dalli, who held the right credentials, would do a great job.

The nomination of a female commissioner was another historic step by a Labour government, he said. The PL had been the first to appoint women as Presidents of the Republic, ministers and Speakers.

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