The Malta Independent 19 January 2020, Sunday

Watch: Muscat launches farewell tour: 'Movement will only get stronger after leadership election'

Sunday, 8 December 2019, 10:36 Last update: about 2 months ago

Muscat launched his farewell tour, visiting localities around the island this morning. While in Naxxar, he said that the movement will only get stronger after the PL's leadership election.

Muscat also pledged unconditional support to the new leader, whoever it will be, and said that he will give the new leader space to work.

“Thank you for all the love you have shown us over the past seven years,” Muscat said, while highlighting the need to now look forward.

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Accompanied by his wife Michelle Muscat, he explained that as Prime Minister he has done his duty; “I shouldered the responsibility I had to, maybe even more than what I had to shoulder, but I did this serenely, knowing that the movement we built together did not start with me, and will not finish with me,” said Muscat.

He thanked Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne and MP Robert Abela, who both will be contesting for the leadership race. “I know that an exciting period lies ahead of us for the party, which is why I wish Chris and Robert well. I see in them, a good quality of people, ideas and values… and that both will work to retain the majority we have won.”

He said that it was an honour to lead the party for over 12 years, and to see the party grow as one.

“Let us not make the same mistakes we did in the past by allowing others to write our history. It is us who write our history, with the faults we have which we have no problem in admitting, and our great achievements. This movement will not finish on 12 January, this movement will become stronger.” He said that such a contest will not break the party, but will strengthen it.

“There is no ‘I am with Joseph’, there is only ‘I am with the movement’ which is why we are here together; and if you believe in me, than you will do the same and believe in the new leader.”

Both PL Leadership contenders Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne and PL MP Robert Abela were meeting and greeting PL supporters. He then went to Zebbug and Paola.

In Zebbug, Muscat highlighted the Labour government’s achievements over the past seven years.

“Our government will continue working on the big economic, social and environmental reforms, Muscat said, “which will continue moving our country forward. Society will continue moving forward.”

He said that the new leader will be there to do his outmost for the country and continue working hard to move this country forward.

He said that the Labour party has experienced many subsequent electoral victories and he is convinced that under the new leadership the party will continue to progress and experience even more  victories.

Sandro Craus, The Head of Customer Care of the Office of the Prime Minister who recently had been called in for questioning by police in relation to the government job that Melvin Theuma, the middleman in the Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination, was present in Zebbug.

In Paola, Muscat said that he was aware that there are people who are genuinely angry and concerned about what has happened over the past few weeks in the country.

“Whilst there are genuine people who are protesting, there are others who are united in their thirst for power. The minority who are thirsty for power are ready to sacrifice everything.” Muscat said that the government and movement are working to solve the situation the country is in and to ensure that justice is done.

“We are here to show the difference, that there is a coalition which is held together with their thirst of power, and that on the other side, we are a movement with principles, and that the new leadership will bring us as a party and government closer,” said Muscat.

He said he was proud to be chosen to lead the party and movement and that now he would be among the people to help the party whenever necessary. He paid tribute and thanked his wife Michelle, without whom he said, he would not have managed to get as far as he did.

He said that he and Michelle are looking forward to regaining a normal life once more, and spending time with their family and daughters. “However, if the new leader or the party needs me, I will always be here to help.”

 

 “We must follow the new leader, not blindly with blinkers, but to understand the person, and to provide them the space and support to work.”

Joseph Muscat visited a total of three localities today, as he had promised to do so before he leaves office in January.  He has been under constant pressure to resign immediately, rather than leave the country continue in such an unsettled state until then.

Muscat resigned in the wake of the recent revelations regarding the investigation into the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia

Photos: Alenka Falzon

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