Chris Fearne and Robert Abela in leadership talks

The two contenders for the post of Labour Party leader are holding a meeting at Chris Fearne’s Health Ministry in Valletta

Chris Fearne and Robert Abela have signalled their intention to contest the leadership post that will be vacated by Joseph Muscat
Chris Fearne and Robert Abela have signalled their intention to contest the leadership post that will be vacated by Joseph Muscat

Chris Fearne and Robert Abela, the two contenders for the post of Labour Party leader, are meeting in Valletta, MaltaToday is informed.

The agenda of the meeting being held at Fearne’s Health Ministry, is unknown but very likely to concern the upcoming leadership race.

Both have signalled their intention to contest but none have yet submitted their nomination. Nominations for the post close this evening.

Senior party officials and MPs had been trying to broker an agreement to have one candidate – Fearne – contest the post to enable a quicker transition.

However, Abela upset the apple cart when he pulled out of the deal, which he described as “a diabolical pact”.

Another leadership hopeful, Ian Borg had initially backed Fearne but on Monday hinted that he may rethink his position.

It is unclear whether the meeting between Fearne and Abela is intended to broker a deal that would see the latter withdraw from the race, or whether the two are agreeing on the rules of engagement for the election campaign.

A two-way, or three-way contest, will mean that the PL will get a new leader by 12 January. If there is only one contestant, the changeover can happen in a matter of days.

There has been mounting pressure on Joseph Muscat to resign immediately and not drag on his permanence at Castille until January.

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