Malta deserves a strong Opposition - Prime Minister

Robert Abela says faction within PN doesn’t want to accept party members’ will, but that Malta needed a strong Opposition

Prime Minister Robert Abela was speaking during an interview on One Radio on Sunday morning
Prime Minister Robert Abela was speaking during an interview on One Radio on Sunday morning

Amid the leadership crisis which has rocked the Nationalist Party, Robert Abela has underlined the importance of having a strong Opposition in Malta.

The Prime Minister, speaking during an interview on One Radio on Sunday, said it was obvious that a faction within the PN refused to accept the leadership choice of its own members.

Malta, however, deserved to have healthy democracy, which required a strong Opposition, he said.

His comments come after a week of turmoil within the Nationalist Party, with a majority of Nationalist MPs requesting that Delia step down, and the PN leader steadfastly refusing to resign.

The government had managed to restore stability in Malta, and a number of voters who would traditionally have voted for the PN now felt more at home in the Labour Party, Abela said.

“Rather than focus on the PN, the government wants to continue focusing on leading the country,” he said, “We have an electoral mandate and we want to keep implementing it. There is still work to be done, and I look to the future positively.”

“We clearly showed that we are ready to pull in the same direction in the interests of the part and country. This was a sign of great maturity. We are a government of everyone, irrespective of their political beliefs,” he said, underlining that everyone is being given the same opportunities to succeed and that he was “everybody’s Prime Minister.”

Society cannot tolerate domestic violence any longer

Abela also spoke about the murder last week of Chantelle Chetcuti by her ex-partner, which he said had shocked the nation and made it more aware of the reality of domestic violence.

He emphasised that society could no longer tolerate such crimes. “As a society, we cannot remain silent and accept these realities. We worked hard on the issue [of domestic violence] in the past, but we didn’t do enough. There is more to do and we are wholeheartedly committed tot he cause,” he said.

Abela added that the government would today be announcing the appointment of Audrey Friggieri as the new Commissioner for Domestic Violence, replacing Simone Cini who resigned earlier this year.

Everyone deserves decent housing

On the issue of housing, Abela said that everyone deserved to have “a decent roof over their heads.”

While it was positive that 80% of people in Malta are homeowners, 20% don’t own their own home, he said.

The government, however had been working hard to ensure housing was affordable, and had earlier this week inaugurated a social housing project in Valletta, he said.

Abela also made reference to the collapse of a building in Gwardamanġa in April last year, saying that the government has now intervened in the matter and demanded that residents be offered an “immediate solution” to the problem of no longer having access to their property. If no solution was forthcoming, Abela said the government would offer its own.