Muscat heralds ‘new dawn’ as he greets masses in Floriana

Prime Minister-elect Joseph Muscat walked the same catwalk on the Granaries in Floriana, which his predecessor, Lawrence Gonzi only hoped to have walked again, after closing the Nationalist Party’s electoral campaign on Thursday.

A triumphant Joseph Muscat waves to the jubilant crowds on the Granaries in Floriana
A triumphant Joseph Muscat waves to the jubilant crowds on the Granaries in Floriana

Accompanied by his wife Michelle, his parents and close aides, Muscat received the adulation of thousands of supporters that thronged every inch of the Floriana Granaries to celebrate the Labour Party's historic landslide victory.

While promising that he will govern as he campaigned, by lending an ear to everyone, and to be of service for everyone, the Prime Minister-elect paid tribute to all those who believed in his project for Malta.

"A new day has dawned on us all. We are a movement, and will remain a movement. No blue flag came down today, and no red flag was hoisted instead. We have all hoisted the Maltese flag," Muscat told the jubilant crowd.

Seemingly still shocked at the size of his victory, Muscat appeared for the first time in public with a plain clothes police escort, and unmarked security cars.

The atmosphere backstage was surreal, with Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, the former Nationalist MP being embraced by a number of friends, who were formerly known to be staunch militants within the PN.

Pullicino Orlando stood in the exact spot he was almost 5 years ago to date. Back then, was left isolated by Gonzi's coterie, despite using him as their tool to defeat former Labour leader Alfred Sant over the Mistra saga.

Yesterday he seemed to be relieved at Muscat's accomplishment. His satisfaction though was not political, not even personal, but a relief that the clique he often accused of being too arrogant to govern, was finally handed judgment by an ample and clear majority.

Another PN dissident, Franco Debono, who led Gonzi to dissolve Parliament last December after denouncing him as an 'oligarch' and voted down his Budget, was lifted shoulder high by Labour supporters in his hometown, Ghaxaq.

Oath of Office

Saluting outgoing Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi who was swift to concede defeat and announce his resignation as PN leader, the Prime Minister-elect described his predecessor as "exemplary" in his handover.

"I salute Gonzi for his exemplary speeches in victory and defeat," Muscat said, acknowledging the burden of Office he was about to assume.

Muscat will take his Oath of Office from the President of the Republic George Abela at the Palace, in Valletta at 11am on Monday morning, and will continue to follow the results from the Naxxar counting hall to be in a better position to form his Cabinet.

With an estimated seven to nine-seat parliamentary majority, Muscat will have a wealth of choice of names for his Cabinet, which is almost certainly to include many of his 'star' candidates, which have done well across the 13 districts.

Muscat will deliberate his Cabinet from his Office in Castille, where he is expected to enter later on after he is sworn in by the President of the Republic.

His right hand man, James Piscopo, who has served him as chief executive at the Labour Party is expected to take over as his Chief of Staff at Castille.

Europe

In his capacity as Malta's new Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat will next Thursday travel to Brussels and join the European Heads of Government for the European Council meeting.

European Commission President Josè Manuel Durrao Barroso called him yesterday and congratulated him for his victory, and the two will meet privately on Thursday evening in Brussels on the margins of the EU Council.

Meanwhile in comments to MaltaToday, Muscat said that his arrival to the European Council table must be seen as a contribution to the European Progressive movement.

"What I tell my fellow European colleagues is not to fear us. We are as European as Maltese," he stressed, adding that he will work to further strengthen the principle of solidarity within the EU.

Muscat said that he will be working in the best interests of the Maltese, and will defend Malta's interests.

Celebrations

Meanwhile, thousands of supporters, waving flags and letting off fireworks, thronged the streets in Floriana and Hamrun, causing traffic chaos and headaches to the Police.

The celebrations have so far been calm and no incidents were reported.

 

 

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Congratulations Dr Joseph Muscat, and all those who did their utmost for this great Victory. Please keep this in mind " A Man is as Good as His word" May God bless you and All the Maltese Papulation.May God give us the sability we need, the prosperity we are all after and familiarity and friend we all deserve so that we will be ONE WHOLE UNITED NATION. WE DESERVE THE BEST. MALTA TAGHNA ILKOLL.
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Now it`s our turn! We love you.