[WATCH] Muscat warns against hubris following historic local councils win

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that winning the biggest majority in history places an equally great responsibility on the party

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has warned those elected to represent the party not to let the party’s unprecedented result go to their heads, insisting that contact would people should remain a priority.

Muscat was addressing a political activity in Nadur, the day after the party registered yet another electoral victory, beating the Nationalist Party by 47,000 votes and winning leadership of a number of traditionally PN localities.

“People vote according to the way they feel. Take Nadur – and this is why we I believe we always need to speak to people and never take them for granted – in Nadur we have a substantial amount of people who voted for the Nationalist Party in the local council elections, because they wanted a Nationalist local council and those same people voted for Josianne in the MEP election,” Muscat said.

The same locality, he said, had produced two different results in two simultaneously held elections.

“The lesson is that everyone votes according what their hear and minds tell them and so we must remain close to the people,” Muscat said. “We can’t let this result go to our heads…this result places the biggest responsibility in history on us, and I for one, am prepared to carry it.”

Muscat thanked the Gozitan electorate for delivering a positive result for the Labour Party, which consolidated its dominance in a number of localities.

The result, he said, placed an enormous responsibility on the Labour Party.

Muscat noted that PL had increased it councillors by 15 and had also won control of five new local councils, bringing the total number of localities administered by the party up to 47.

“Practically 70% of all local councils in the country, and even more so in terms of territory now have a Labour majority and I thank you for this,” he told those present.

“I must comment about the symbolic value of these elections where for the first time we won a majority in the capital city, Valletta,” Muscat said.

He added that those who knew the demographics of Malta knew how difficult it was for the party to have won Siggiewi for the first time, allowing Labour to now claim the entire south of Malta as its own.

Muscat also expressed his satisfaction at the Labour Party winning hard-fought localities like St Paul’s Bay and Mosta, as well as localities that the parties kept like Mellieha, Mqabba and Birkirkara.

Muscat said he was also happy at the success  registered by youths who had contested the election. He said that 98 youths were elected, meaning that 36% of labour party candidates were youths.

Women, he said, had also done well in the latest round of elections. 78 women were elected, he said, making up 27% of the Labour Party’s new councillors.

He said that with the Labour Party having the largest number  of councils controlled by a  single party meant that it owed the people a debt of gratitude. “We must do what we have proposed,” Muscat insisted. “We now have a reputation of doing what we promise, and we must ensure that this becomes the reputation of every Labour local council.”

He said the party would be establishing an internal structure to coordinate the work of councils and implementation of everything the party had promised.

“As of tomorrow, we need to have structure to coordinate at the work we need to do across the country, including on a local level,” Muscat said.