Joseph Muscat urges Labour supporters to rally behind new leader: ‘Do not compare him with me’

Outgoing Prime Minister Joseph Muscat says the new leader will enjoy his ‘absolute loyalty’ as he urges supporters to give his successor a chance • Early voting underway

Joseph Muscat gave his last radio interview on party media before his farewell speech to supporters on Friday
Joseph Muscat gave his last radio interview on party media before his farewell speech to supporters on Friday

Joseph Muscat has pledged to give his successor all the necessary space and urged Labour Party supporters to give the new leader a chance.

The Prime Minister also urged people not to compare the new leader with him. “Everybody has his own character and leadership style,” he said.

Muscat also pledged “absolute loyalty” to his successor in his last interview on One Radio this morning.

He urged PL members to exercise their right to vote and choose the new leader in Saturday’s election. This is the first time that the PL leader will be chosen by party members.

“In the Nationalist Party this exercise led to a split… this process will not divide the PL but it has strengthened us. There will be quibbles, it is an important election after all, but afterwards we will come together and work for the best of the country,” Muscat said.

The Prime Minister dwelt briefly on his government’s social successes underscoring the point that the PL must remain a progressive party in deeds and not just words.

“Whoever believes that the progressive agenda has been fulfilled does not know what he is saying. Young people have aspirations for changes that we still fear to make. The PL must not fear change… we have to drive change,” Muscat said in a cautionary tone.

He reiterated his belief that political parties will become irrelevant unless they form part of a wider movement and insisted that civil society was a driver for change.

“The time of politicians leading change is over; it is civil society that brings about change and political parties must partner with civil society,” Muscat said.

The Prime Minister steered clear of any controversy in the short interview.

Early voting in the Labour leadership race is underway today
Early voting in the Labour leadership race is underway today

Muscat is expected to deliver his parting speech on Friday at the start of the members’ congress that will elect the new leader.

Early voting is taking place today at Labour Party headquarters.

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