De Marco says PN could once again be a centre-left party

PN deputy leader Mario de Marco says the PN must once again stand up for workers as Labour turns to the right

Mario de Marco (Photo by Chris Mangion)
Mario de Marco (Photo by Chris Mangion)

Accusing the Labour administration of suffering from amnesia, PN deputy leader Mario de Marco has said that the government has reneged on its agreement with the people 'to do things differently'.

Addressing the PN general council which is expected to approve a policy document entitled “Honest Politics”, De Marco said that as Labour was turning itself into a right-wing party, the PN could “once again become the centre-left party” that stands for solidarity, a liberal economic model, workers' rights and environmental justice.

In what could be a pivotal moment for the Opposition, de Marco quoted former Italian Christian-Democrat prime minister Alcide De Gasperi and said that in the face of the Labour government’s disregard to the lower classes,  the PN could become "a centrist party which looks to the left.”

“It’s our duty to learn from our past errors and I am the first to admit that we committed mistakes in the environmental sector but we must ensure that future generations can enjoy the environment, which is the most important thing we have.”

He added that while in opposition, the PN will come up with new amd fresh ideas and “stand for honesty in politics and distinguish ourselves from others.”

Turning to Labour, De Marco said “probably it was a lexical oversight but when they promised meritocracy they meant 'Muscatocracy',” adding that since taking office the Labour administration has the done the complete opposite of what it promised before the 2013 election.

He said the government’s failure to uphold transparency, accountability and meritocracy had resulted in two of the government’s major projects, the award of a casino concession and the public transport deal with a Spanish company, being delayed due to court procedures.

Highlighting last week’s incident in which home affairs minister Manuel Mallia’s driver shot twice at a vehicle following a minor traffic accident, De Marco said that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had built a government on deciet.

Accusing Prime Minister Joseph Muscat of shedding his responsibilities by expecting three retired judges to do his job, De Marco said Muscat should have the courage to shoulder his political responsibilities and address the abuse of power and conflict of interest which he said was now charecterising government.

“The home affairs minister, who happens to be a criminal lawyer, should know that the evidence on a crime scene should not be contaminated,” the PN deputy leader said, adding that Joseph Muscat was attempting to postpone the decision in the hope that it becomes irrelevant.

Opening the three-day General Council, PN secretary-general Chris Said said: “Two years ago we suffered a trouncing at the hands of Labour but now it’s Labour’s credibility that has been trounced.”

He added that the PN’s decision to choose honesty as the general council’s central theme was “prophetic” given recent events which culminated in the shooting incident involving home affairs minister Manuel Mallia’s driver.

“The Prime Minister should be ashamed for sticking by Mallia and failing to sack him,” he said to the applause of the party’s councillors.

Asking “who’s the real Prime Minister?” Said added that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat “weakness” could be indicative of Mallia’s hold on Muscat.

He said the PN must now look ahead and while acknowledging its past errors the party must oppose “Muscat’s cowboys” in the same manner it opposed Labour’s thugs in the 1980s.