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Muscat plays down Micallef resignation issue
Labour leader expects ‘good sense’ to prevail for Jason Micallef to resign chairmanship.
9 August 2012, 12:00am
Former Labour secretary-general Jason Micallef was re-elected to his post after losing the 2008 general election, but after Muscat abolished the post in a bid to consolidate his new leadership, he kicked Micallef to the post of chairman of the Labour TV production house.
Muscat today would not commit himself as to whether Micallef had to resign the chairmanship. "I can't see the issue at stake. I expect that good sense will prevail, but it's not of any national importance," Muscat said when asked about the former secretary-general running for election.
When asked bluntly whether he expected him to resign, Muscat replied that he saw "no issue" in the matter.
The decision by Micallef to announce his candidature has shocked the PL's kitchen cabinet but top brass are reluctant to ask him to resign his chairman's post.
As party secretary-general, Micallef had in the past imposed that all staff at One TV should resign from their posts if they chose to stand as candidates.
But Micallef has since strained relations with many of Joseph Muscat's lieutenants and his relations with the party leader are considered to be far from good.
The decision by the PL administration to appoint Micallef as chairman of One TV was interpreted as a sop to convince Micallef to move out quietly from the PL's administration.
His decision comes after Muscat publicly thanked him in the last general conference for deciding not to stand for the national elections.
Sources at One TV told MaltaToday that Jason Micallef refuses to resign as chairman of One TV, even though the post creates a conflict of interest with his candidature.
Micallef believes that he has a good chance of winning, though he is up against deep-seated or so called 'star candidates' in the Mosta constituency which all come armed with the vote-winning 'blessing' of the party leadership.
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