The Malta Independent 26 June 2022, Sunday

Abela warns against PN’s ‘politics of division’ in final appeal to voters

Albert Galea Thursday, 24 March 2022, 20:43 Last update: about 4 months ago

Prime Minister and PL leader Robert Abela warned against the PN's "politics of division" as he addressed a party mass meeting for the last time in the electoral campaign on Thursday.

Speaking at the MFCC in Ta' Qali, Abela said that the PN is anchored to the past and that the PL is the only choice for the country's future.

Abela dedicated the bulk of the first part of his speech to the concept of pride, saying that the time had come for people to be proud of the country and vote accordingly. 

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He said that voters shouldn't trust someone who is ashamed of being Maltese, a reference to a remark Grech once made when he said on a television show that he sometimes tries to pass himself off as Greek.

It was a speech which was punctuated by applause and chants from the party faithful present, with Abela pausing to lap up the praise on more than one occasion.

He said that the first decision people need to take is to give him the mandate to govern, but to then support him to implement the PL's 1,000 ideas in the next legislature.

"If you remain at home on Saturday, the politics of division will grow, as those who work it will think that they can follow the path they have drawn out for themselves. With me, you know where you stand," Abela said.

He referred to the debate held with Bernard Grech earlier this week, and said that there were always differences between him and Grech on how they see things: "I am progressive by nature, he is conservative and wants to fight change," he said. 

"The people who are pulling his strings are the same dangerous people who put him there to divide a party.  Now to try and remove us, they will try and divide the country.  They've started with the usual games and manoeuvres already.  My question is: are you going to let them?", he told the crowd - a question which received a booming "No" in response.

"That's why we need a strong vote in favour of this movement on Saturday," he said, adding that the country needs strong leadership which only the PL can provide.

He said that the next step is to press forward for better conditions for everyone, building on what the government had done in the past two years to not only save them during the Covid-19 pandemic but also help them intensify investment.

"But, I will never come before you with something which I know cannot be done," Abela said, adding that this means that the people can trust the PL to do what it has promised to do.

"On Saturday, do not listen to those who try to make you believe that nothing can change," he said after skimming through the main principles of the party's proposals.

He said that the PN is anchored to the past, and that they can talk about everything but the PL will implement everything and raise the country to new heights.

The coming five years, he said, will be the five years where Malta increases its standards and the level of everything they do, so his invitation is to come into this new phase and be the country which recovers quickest from the past crisis and to put people before partisanism.

"Lend me your faith, for my first mandate... so we can continue to implement what we have promised.  Let us make our dreams a reality, together... together with students, families, businesses, workers... Malta, together, our future is beautiful: our future is in your hands," he concluded.

PL President Ramona Attard addressed the meeting first, criticising the PN's "arrogance", and saying that the party is taking voters for granted.

PL deputy leader Daniel Micallef, sporting a '26.03' branded jumper, followed up, focusing much of his speech on appealing to those who are not sure of voting come Saturday, amidst polls suggesting that the electoral turn-out may end up being a record low.

He also spoke of the 2003 EU referendum, saying that it is a key part of the country's destiny and that today the Europeanism in Malta is most present with the PL - despite the fact that the PL itself had vehemently opposed membership in the EU back then.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez also gave a testimonial before the mass meeting started.


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