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Scicluna ‘Muscat’s chosen’ for deputy leadership

Edward Scicluna let the cat out of the bag when he said Muscat had 'made it clear on several occasions' that he wanted him by his side as a 'pair of safe hands'

saviour_balzan
Saviour Balzan
2 July 2017, 8:30am
Last updated on 3 July 2017, 9:10am
Finance Minister Edward Scicluna
Finance Minister Edward Scicluna
Finance minister Edward Scicluna has sent a clear message to party delegates that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat prefers him for deputy leader for parliamentary affairs, after a naïve admission on TVM that he had been asked to stand by Muscat himself.

Scicluna let the cat out of the bag when he said Muscat had “made it clear on several occasions” that he wanted him by his side as a “pair of safe hands”.

Helena Dalli, who yesterday launched her own deputy leadership bid echoed Scicluna’s claims, but said she had been “encouraged” to stand.

Unlike Dalli or even the other contender, health minister Chris Fearne, Scicluna lacks a strong grassroots network but his high profile as finance minister has earned him the respect of the electorate.

But government sources said Muscat sees in Scicluna, 70, a substitute for the veteran Louis Grech, who will still be kept on as consultant at the Office of the Prime Minister.

Scicluna was still elected on two districts despite not campaigning hard at constituency level. “For Muscat, Scicluna as deputy leader for parliamentary affairs would strike the right balance to Chris Cardona’s fiery and impetuous image,” the source said of the PL’s deputy leader for party affairs.

Like Scicluna, Helena Dalli yesterday also made it a point to state she offered no competition to Muscat or any other potential leadership candidate who could take Labour to the next elections in 2022, after Muscat declared this was his last electoral campaign as prime minister.

saviour_balzan
Saviour Balzan is the founder and co-owner of MaltaToday. He has reported on Maltese poli...
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