The Malta Independent 19 January 2020, Sunday

Muscat describes Abela as ‘exceptional element’, urges unconditional support to new PM

Sunday, 12 January 2020, 12:12 Last update: about 7 days ago

Robert Abela is an “exceptional element,” outgoing Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on Sundy morning, adding that his successor is “one of the best minds I have ever met.”

Abela won the PL leadership on Saturday evening, beating Deputy PM Chris Fearne. He will be sworn in as Malta’s next PM on Monday morning.

In a statement, Muscat also praised Fearne, saying he had no doubt the Deputy PM would remain “a central part” of the Labour movement.

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Muscat said he was proud that he will be handing over the keys to Castille to Abela.

Abela, Muscat said, has the experience to lead with continuity, in line with the choice the electorate made in 2017.

The PL has given a vote of confidence to the government, he continued. Abela should have no difficulty in making the necessary changes to fix mistakes that have been made, Muscat said. “I will be the first to urge him and support him in making these changes.”

Muscat urged all those who back the Labour movement to give their unconditional support to Abela, adding that he will give the new PM the space he needs to work.

He added that Saturday’s election had shown the PL’s strength. The fact that 92% of eligible voters had taken part in the election was proof of the Labour Party’s democratic credentials.

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