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PN decides for 2013 election, with or without Debono

OPM sources say elections can wait as Franco Debono shows no sign of hastening government's demise with parliamentary vote.

13 February 2012, 12:00am
Even in the face of Franco Debono's apparent disloyalty, Lawrence Gonzi believes that given time, he will be able to turn the tide back over the next months.
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi has decided to plod on and hold the general election in 2013, as plans for an early election were put on the back-burner when it became clear backbencher Franco Debono will simply abstain on parliamentary votes, fearing early elections would bring about his own political demise.

The Prime Minister does not believe Debono will vote against government, even though the Ghaxaq-based parliamentarian had vowed he would once the Cabinet reshuffle took place.  Gonzi is strengthened by the fact that in 1998 the Labour administration survived for a number of months with the casting vote of Speaker Miriam Spiteri Debono.

Polls have shown that the present status of the Prime Minister is at one of his lowest points ever with a 13-point difference between the Labour Party and the Nationalist Party, according to a MaltaToday survey.

Yet the Prime Minister appears to believe that given time, he will be able to turn the tide back over the next months. He is banking on the finalisation of some major projects which are expected to serve as an opportune publicity platform for him.

Immediate attention has also been given to the way the administration reacts to news stories about its performance. It appears an instantaneous reaction to press stories is being coordinated by experienced officials relying on a very quick and effective response system. On two recent occasions - the response to a homophobic attack and a protest against ACTA - the Prime Minister personally fronted a press conference to announce policy changes, but in which journalists were not allowed to ask questions.

The Prime Minister is paying special attention in emphasising the lack of electoral proposals from the Labour camp and that under his premiership Malta was capable of avoiding the economic downturn in Europe.

Against this scenario, Gonzi still has to tolerate Debono's disloyalty. This has catalysed an economic slow-down in the country due to the 'parliamentary instability' while both political parties are galvanising their machinery for a possible election.

Even more sinister is the evident origin of Debono's 'rebellion', nurtured primarily by the very fact that Debono was not offered a ministerial role, and that he was sidelined by the Prime Minister. Sources close to Gonzi told MaltaToday: "His erratic personality made it impossible for the Prime Minister to even consider him for such a sensitive post."

Insiders told MaltaToday that before the fall-out between the Prime Minister and Debono, who also publicly stated he is far more capable than his colleague and recently appointed justice minister Chris Said, was constantly pestering the Prime Minister with innumerable phone calls and messages on a daily basis at unearthly hours.

The initial public sympathy towards Debono is now fast evaporating, as it is replaced with contempt for the man who promised to bring a government down but then abstained, while still chastising the Prime minister for his 'autocratic' style of leadership.

Debono's political career may be over as he falls short of pinpointing by name those in Lawrence Gonzi's entourage whom he constantly refers to as the 'clique' responsible for 'oligarchic' policies: although the parliamentarian has on several occasions privately prompted names to the delight of newsrooms.

Charles Mifsud
It is franco Debono who decides when an election is to be called, not Gonzi. We have arrived at this ridiculous situation thanks to Gonzi's handling of his backbench.
Joseph Laus
@ Javlin... Sewwa qal il,PM li il problema hi Joseph Muscat ,ghandu ragun ghax Hu (Joseph) ha jtih l akbar tkaxkira li qatt ma stenna
Joseph Laus
Franco jekk Gonzi ma kellux il gatz jew il hila li ma jnehhi lil dawk li int rid tnehhi u lil klikka ,mela kun int li taghmel dan Billi tivvota kontra tighu.mela thallih jied li bik u minghajrek xorta,,,Urieh li int bniedem determinat u mhix bezziegh bhalu,,,,Int hekk jew hekk xorta in-nies ha jwarbuk elezzjoni ohra..mela allura Kuragg u zomm mal principju tieghek,,,
Maria D Fenech
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi has decided to plod on and hold the general election in 2013.... The PM knows that Franco will not keep his word and vote against the government, even though he said so many times. He know that Franco is not a man of honor and so Franco will most probably be giving the PM another PN victory.
GHAMJAILMEWT
dan gonzi qed jghid lil franco debono bik u minghajrek xorta?
joseph busuttil
I think now its about time that F.Debono should either join the web of evils,the oligary and GonziPN clique or put his money where his mouth is! Is the country paying for an MP to go on and on abstaining? As far as I know to abstain is to decide not to decide. Do we deserve MPs of this calibre?!
Carmel Xuereb
Din li jekk inhu veru kif qed jahseb Dr.Gonzi li Debono mhux ser jivvota kontra imma biss jastieni ma turi xejn hlief id-djufija ta' Dr. Debono (dejjem jekk inhu veru ser jigri hekk). Jiena ilni nsegwi lil Dr. Debono ghal xi xhur issa ghax fieh kont qed nara l-Leader futur tal-Partit Nazzjonalista u segwejtu mhux biss gewwa l-Parlament imma anke bnadi ohra u fil-Qorti wkoll fejn huwa wiehed mill-avukati abli li hawn bhalissa. Huwa dejjem zamm il-kelma, qat ma qal haga u mbaghad ghamel il-kontra, kienet biss ftit irtirata (minn jaf x'pressjoni kellu gejja minn kullimkien) fil-vot ta' kunfidenza li ghamel din l-irtirata. Pero' jiena nahseb li ma ndumux ma naraw lil Farnco Debono ma jzommx iktar il-folja wieqfa dritta u jibqa jastienei kif qed jahseb Dr. Gonzi jiena perswaz illi Dr. Debono l-folja ser jaqliba jew il-quddiem inkella lura dalwaqt ghax impossibli ghalih li jkompl sejjer hekk, ghax hu lil Malta jhobbha u ma jistax joqghod jarha tiffonga l-isfel issa dalwaqt naraw forsi mhxu fl-ewwel votazzjoni imma perswaz li f'votazzjonijiet futuri fil-parlament Dr. Debono ser ikun sod fid-decizjoni tieghu li jew se jibda jivvota iva ghal dejjem jew inkella jaqleb il-folja u jibda jivvota le. Dr. Debono ma jistax ihalli lil Malta titnakkar ftit ftit irid jiddeciedi u jiddeciedi f'dawn il-granet li gejjein.
Antoine Vella
I don't know why this "news' is being given as if its a surprise. Right after the botched no-confidence motion, it was very OBVIOUS that there would no early elections. Franco Debono had been given the best chance he could ever have of to toppling the government. Since he chose not to take it, it was OBVIOUS that he had no intention of ever unseating Gonzi. I said as much, weeks ago but was ridiculed and insulted by the herd of Mintoffians who inhabit the Malta Today website.
Joseph Laus
MISTER EDITOR IS THERE SOMETHING WRING,?,COMMENTS ARE NOT SHOWN
James Grech
Kif jistaghu in-nies jiehdu lill-PM u lill-gvern bis- serjeta? L analogija li tigi f'mohhi u li anke Tonio Borg uza, hija dik tat tim tal-futbol. F'dan il-kaz, il-PM li qed nghidu li huwa il-coach, jiddeciedi li jinzel fil-grawnd, sew meta jkollu il 'full' tim w anke meta ma jkollux biex jaqqad il-hdax. Ir-regoli jaghamilhom, ifassalhom u jawwighom, kif u meta jaqbillu. Jekk il-PM qed jahseb li is-supporters mhux qed jindunaw u jevalwaw dan it-tkasbir tal-loghoba, li f'dan il kaz ma hi loghoba xejn imma hija id-demokrazija, ghandu zball, u wiehed ohxon ikolli nghid.
Mario Attard
In my honest opinion, I think that Hon Dr Franco Debono is a very worthile MP, and he was right in nearly all that he said and fought for, but in Malta things goes exactly the opposite. I remember that when an MP opposes his party even when he is 100% right, he is doomed. Hon F Debono didn’t do as he said he would do, instead he abstained. I don’t think that the Nationalist Electorate will ever forgive him. Will his political opponents trust him within their own party? On the other hand if Dr F Debono chooses to contest as an Indepenfent candidate I am sure he will get eleceted with flying colours. He has much to offer for the benefit of all of us.
m borg
"He is banking on the finalisation of some major projects which are expected to serve as an opportune publicity platform for him.".... If this really turns out to produce some divident than the maltese deserve to be rules by a despot and a bunch of corrup politicians.
joseph busuttil
Yet when the PM asked about this so called "problem" his answer is "Joseph Muscat is the problem" Can anybody understand our PM? I'm not! " HELP "!!!!!!!!
m borg
Franco isn't fit to even be a postman never mind a member of parliament. HE CANNOT DELIVER. He is puts a texan to shame he's full of BULL Droppings. Grow up Franco.
david_lexicon
quoting article: "he initial public sympathy towards Debono is now fast evaporating". Yes I agree. Dr. Debono has created instability in our country and he is irresponsible. Parla si, fatti no.
Joseph Laus
Mela il Prim Ministru sa joqghod fuq il casting vote ta li speaker(sfiducjat Fl'elezzjoni)u jibqa imexxi bi still diitatorjali.,,,,Mela Franco debono jekk inyt veru temmen li hemm xi ministri l maimxewx sew u li Gonzi mhux kapaci innehhihom ,ghax jibza Minnnhom,kun INT li tnehhihom b'semplici vot kontra il Gvern u ellura Gonzi ikollu irid jew ma jridc iwarrab...Int hekk jew hekk xorta ghandek hajja politika spiccuta,,,Mela zomm mal principju Originali u nehhihom int lil tal Klikka li dejjem semmejt, jekk ma kontc qieghed TIBBLAFFJA,
4aBetter_MT
PN Government is at its weakest at the moment, which is not essentially a bad thing for Maltese and Gozitans, especially when we recall how long it used to take for this Government to move on something! A good example would be censorship laws: I don't think it's a coincidence that there is so much movement in this field of late (new laws being drafted, writers being acquitted from Court, etc...). I would attribute some of the better policies which are only finally taking form now to the fact that Government is eager to listen to its people... it knows it needs to please its people... and that is a good thing! FINALLY they understood it!!! a bit too late? perhaps, but late is still better than never! let's hope Gov does not go squandering millions in dishing out favours under patronage now, but continues to attempt to please the MAJORITY of the people through good legislation, and the right appointments by choosing the best people who will serve the country best. That's the wish of the majority, Mr. Gov!
Carmen Xerri
Il-bniedem jipproponi u Alla jiddisponi
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