Smells like an election
Labour says Gonzi planning exit, education minister won’t run
Labour media claims PN hoping for sympathy vote with plans for new leader after winning election.
19 September 2012, 12:00am
On its media, Labour yesterday said that the PN strategy team being led by former EU ambassador Richard Cachia Caruana and transport minister Austin Gatt - who has yet to make his intentions clear on whether he will seek re-election - had recommended that Gonzi makes his exit after clinching victory in the coming elections.
The move would mollify supporters and voters who have grown weary of the current administration, while putting their hope in new blood being pumped into the party.
Only this week, Nationalist MEP Simon Busuttil - whom Gonzi appointed as his special delegate for civil society when the PM put his leadership to a party ballot - announced he would be running on the eleventh district.
He has been touted as possible leadership material, even though he could face a rival in the form of Mario De Marco, another well-liked and industrious minister who led MEPA reform and reforms in censorship laws.
Labour claims Gonzi's announcement would provoke a sympathy vote, although with the party's troubles with the vocal and rebellious MP Franco Debono, who has openly have broken ranks with the PN, the image of a 'leaderless' party can also backfire.
Education minister Dolores Cristina has also announced she will not run for the general elections, while sources say she could be mulling the next European elections in 2013.
With MEPs Simon Busuttil and David Casa running for the general elections, they could pave the way for Roberta Metsola and Marthese Portelli's election in the bye-election for their seats. Portelli, who is the president of the PN's executive committee, will also be running on the thirteenth Gozo district.
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.
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