[WATCH] Robert Abela launches leadership campaign

The Labour MP presented a set of proposals he would be carrying out if he were to be the country’s next Prime Minister

Labour MP Robert Abela has launched his Labour Party leadership campaign. 

In a recorded speech, Abela launched his campaign titled ‘Forward Together’ (Flimkien ‘Il Quddiem).

Abela is one of two candidates, the other being Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne, who have forwarded their nomination to become leader of the Labour Party and the country’s next Prime Minster, following Joseph Muscat resignation.

In his speech, Abela insisted that the next Prime Minister should build on the success the government has garnered in the last seven years.

He also said that the next PM must look to build on the economic success brought about by this government.

“Without a growing economy our challenges will be harder,” he said.

“Unity remains the core to our success,” he continued.

Abela stated that the next PM must look to restore tranquillity and serenity in the country.

“We can do this not by implanting drastic measures, but delicate and fine decisions which build on the positives and improve on the negatives,” he said.

The Labour MP also presented a set of proposals he would be enacting if he were to be the next PM.

Robert Abela said he would be proposing that in the span of five years, medicines bought by pensioners would be given for free, with the measure costing €40 million.

Abela also said that despite the government’s efforts to increase work and reduce poverty, workers still feel that wages haven’t reflected that success.

He also said that it is a reality that the influx of foreign workers, despite their contribution to the country’s current economic success, are holding back wages.

“While we have to appreciate the foreign workers’ contribution to our economic success, we cannot let it hinder us from improving our quality of life,” he said.

Abela said that he would be proposing that employers would not be given the permit to import foreign workers if all their employees are not paid their deserved wage.

They would also not be granted the permit if they do not pay the foreign workers through a valid bank account.

“An employer who is found guilty of breaking work conditions or employing workers without a valid work permit, would also be barred from employing foreign workers,” Abela said.

He also said that it would not be tolerating that foreign workers be paid lower than their Maltese counterparts.

“Contract workers should not be paid differently from company workers if they are carrying out the same work,” he said.

Abela also presented his proposal for the environment, stating that within the span of five years, the government would be looking at planting a variety of trees across the island.

“This might seem like a simple proposal, but in fact it is quite difficult to carry out and will leave a big impact on the country,” Abela said.

Chris Fearne and Robert Abela will be vying for the post of Labour Party leader in a two-way contest that will propel either of them directly into Castile.

The two-way race means that the candidates will head directly for a vote among the party’s membership base.

This will be the first time that the PL leader will be chosen by the party members and not just delegates.

Whoever wins the race will automatically become Malta’s next prime minister.