The Malta Independent 25 June 2024, Tuesday
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TMID editorial: A political earthquake

Monday, 13 March 2023, 10:20 Last update: about 2 years ago

A survey published on Sunday by MaltaToday showed a massive drop in the polls for the Labour Party.

The survey follows the recent damning hospitals' deal judgement that has rocked the country. It was one of the biggest deals signed by the Labour government, and the court not only annulled it, but even said that it had "no doubt that the government, together with the other competent authorities in the case, had an obligation and a duty to rescind all the contracts."

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The court case that led to the judgement was filed by PN MP Adrian Delia when he was opposition leader. The fact that it was filed by the opposition, and not the government, is having an impact on the political situation.

The latest polls show people's anger. MaltaToday's survey reported that the PL is polling at 30.8% and the PN at 28.4%, while ADPD and other parties are at 4.7%. The newspaper said that the PL lost 8 points over the February survey, while the PN gained 6 points. The Labour Party is still in the lead, but the gap is quite small. The Nationalist Party is, for the first time in a very long time, in a good position.

But it remains to be seen whether the poll is a one-off, coming as an instant reaction to the court judgement, or if the PN can continue to move forward. if the PN does continue to show unity and grow stronger, then the MEP elections might be a tighter race than the 2022 general election.

The PN still needs to work hard to be perceived as a valid alternative government. The economy is doing well and people pay a lot of attention to what affects them directly, and their financial situation. In this respect, the Labour government is seen by many as having done well for the country.

On the hospitals judgement specifically, there is no way for the PL to gain any points from this situation, and that could spell problems for the Abela administration. Demands for the government to retrieve the funds that were given to Vitals Global Healthcare and Steward Health Care just keep getting stronger. Abela has now said that the government will seek reimbursement from Steward Health Care for funds given to the company for investments and services that weren't carried out.

The question of political responsibility is still up in the air. Nobody has accepted it, but political responsibility must be carried. As for criminal investigations, a magisterial inquiry is said to have been ongoing for a while now. Justice absolutely must be served.


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