Abela: Labour manifesto a ‘blueprint for the future leadership of the country’

Prime Minister Robert Abela says the party electoral manifesto builds on the progress made by Labour governments since 2013 

Prime Minister Robert Abela (Photo: James Bianchi/Mediatoday)
Prime Minister Robert Abela (Photo: James Bianchi/Mediatoday)

Prime Minister Robert Abela has described the Labour Party’s manifesto for the 2022 elections as a “blueprint on the future leadership of the country.” 

“It is an ambitious plan which offers a better quality of life. It is not more of the same, it is a blueprint for future leadership. What we are proposing builds on the good that was carried out since 2013,” he said. 

Abela was speaking at the Labour Party’s General Conference on Friday where the party unveiled its electoral manifesto for the 2022 General Election, approved unanimously by party delegates.

A rundown of the manifesto by MaltaToday Online Editor Kurt Sansone can be read here.

The PM said Malta had made “giant leaps” for its economy, in energy, social solidarity and civil rights.  “But we cannot take the people’s vote for granted. We need to continue working,” he told his audience.

He said the foundations for economic and social stability had been laid out, and it was time for Labour to exceed people’s expectations and give the country strong leadership. “You know how we worked during the COVID-19 pandemic, and come next Spring we want to continue leading the country forward.”

The Labour Party's manifesto unveiled on Friday
The Labour Party's manifesto unveiled on Friday

Ukrainian conflict  

Speaking on his meeting with EU leaders in France to discuss the situation in Ukraine, Abela condemned the bombing of a Ukrainian hospital by Russian forces. The children’s and maternity hospital in Mariupol was attacked on Wednesday. “This is a cowardly act. An act of evil,” he said. 

He said Malta will continue insisting on its Mediterranean mission to work for peace and justice. “I believe in love and solidarity,” the PM said. 

Addressing the event, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne said people were being faced with a simple decision: to choose between those who don’t know how to lead the country, and those who showed the country’s best abilities in two of the most difficult years in recent history. 

He said that in the last legislature, both the PN and the PL had leadership campaigns. “While the leadership campaign led to more internal quaralling, the next day of our leadership campaign, Robert Abela found me there to support him.”

“If you give us your support, we will continue taking this country forward,” he concluded, to a standing ovation.

Labour Party president Ramona Attard said the 11 March was a sad anniversary for her, recalling the miscarriage of her daughter years back. “It was supposed to be one of the best days for me, but it is one of my darkest memories. I speak about this miscarriage because I don’t want the subject to remain a taboo,” she said. “I promised myself that if I could be given the opportunity, I would work to ensure that everyone should have the chance to have children. And with this manifesto that promise will come true.”

She said the PL’s pledge on IVF will be carried out in the first 100 days of a Labour government. “One thing which links all our pledges is opportunity: we all know what we’ve been through in the last two years, and the country deserves these opportunities.”

Deputy leader for party affairs Daniel Micallef said Labour’s manifesto started from the ‘100 ideas’ consultation process launched last year. “It was split in 10 policy fora. These involved a number of stakeholders, entities and individuals. We welcome everyone’s ideas, because for us everyone matters.”

Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne
Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne

He said the consultation process led to a manifesto spread on 20 chapters, “linked by the need to improve people’s quality of lives.”

“Yes, we have new priorities, even in areas where we could have done better. That is the spirit of a reformist party,” he said. 

Micallef said the PN had presented an “amateur and disorganised manifesto”.

“The certificate of mediocrity was given by Bernard Grech on the first day of the election. He started by saying he would waive fines, while we promised to lower tax on self-employed, and pledged a €700 million invest in the environment.”

But he warned Labour had to remain humble. “We must learn from other’s mistakes. We need to remain at the centre of the policy arena of the country, no matter if we are in government or opposition.”

Labour Party President Ramona Attard
Labour Party President Ramona Attard