[WATCH] No general election until electoral manifesto is implemented, Robert Abela says

Prime Minister Robert Abela insists on government’s intentions to implement its 2017 general election manifesto in its entirety  

Prime Minister Robert Abela
Prime Minister Robert Abela

The Prime Minister Robert Abela has said that a general election will not be called until the Labour Party’s electoral manifesto is fully implemented. 

The Labour leader, who was addressing a political event in Mellieha on Sunday, looked back at his achievements one year on from becoming the country’s PM following Joseph Muscat’s resignation in December 2019. 

Abela played down rumours that he would be calling a general election early this year, insisting government looks to fulfil its promises with the electorate. 

He said that pledges made in his party leadership race have been fulfilled. 

“I keep my word with people – I promised that we would put a stop to the political crisis, I promised reforms in good governance, I promised to curb the immigration problem. Thanks to government’s work, we were able to carry out this important work, despite the pandemic,” he said. 

“Looking back, I can safely say what a year this has been.”

Abela said that throughout the pandemic, government was transparent and factual about the virus’ situation in the country. 

“We kept people constantly updated about what was going on,” he said. 

He said government measures like the wage support scheme and a moratorium on bank loan repayments have helped people to retain their jobs, and in turn protecting the country’s economy. 

“Nobody should lose his income,” he said.

Schools strike  

Speaking on the strike ordered by the Malta Union of Teachers (MUT) last Thursday and Friday, Abela said education should not be subject to controversy. 

“I must admit I was sad when I learned about the strike. Children in the country cannot risk losing out on their educational and social development,” he said. 

He also made reference to comments by Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci on Friday, who said that a physical return to schools leads to better control of COVID-19 cases. 

He also thanked educators and teachers who ignored the strike and reported to work on Thursday and Friday. 

Looking ahead 

Looking ahead, the PM said Malta will be among the first to return to normality and regain its momentum, thanks to wise decisions carried out by government during the pandemic. 

He also called out those who criticised his statements that Malta will go back to “business as usual”. 

“Who doesn’t want to go back to our normal life, like hugging the elderly, like sending the children to schools without a mask, like taking a plane and going on holiday,” he said. 

He also said the pandemic must serve as catalyst for important changes the country needs to carry out. 

Chris Fearne 

Deputy PM and health minister Chris Fearne boasted about the country’s approach to the pandemic from both a medical and economic standpoint, outlining government’s ideology in tackling the issues which arose. 

“We chose to help people. We don’t want anyone to get left back,” he said. 

He also announced that first consignment of the Moderna vaccine will arrive in Malta on Sunday. The vaccine was approved by the European Medicines Agency last week. 

Fearne also hit-out at rumours about clashed between himself and the PM.

“I wanted to say this so that those who are inventing stories can just stop. We are one team,” he said.