[WATCH] Labour leadership race turns ugly: Emanuel Cuschieri issues stark warning against retribution

Chris Fearne has denied rumours of retribution against his rival’s supporters but Emanuel Cuschieri sounds warning during Robert Abela’s last rally

Emanuel Cuschieri addressing Robert Abela's last rally in Paola
Emanuel Cuschieri addressing Robert Abela's last rally in Paola

Labour darling Emanuel Cuschieri took to the podium on Thursday at Robert Abela's last campaign rally in Paola to extol the virtues of the candidate.

But midway through his animated speech, Cuschieri issued a stark warning against retribution in the aftermath of the leadership contest. Although Cuschieri chose his words carefully, it was a clear reference to persistent rumours spreading among PL members that if Fearne wins, Abela’s supporters in the various ministries would be axed.

The rumour has gained so much traction that Fearne was forced to dispel it when interviewed on TVM’s Xtra yesterday night.

Addressing the gathering in Paola Square, Cuschieri said he would be ready to give up his position in the party to defend any Labourite who may be placed in an embarrassing position because of his leadership choice.

READ ALSO: Labour leadership race closes with candidate rallies in Paola and Naxxar

Cuschieri warned against any form of retribution that may happen soon after the leadership result is out.

He then went on to praise Abela, likening him to Muscat for using conciliatory language the moment he had been elected leader in 2008.

Fearne’s denial and Cuschieri’s warning are the latest in a series of bitter exchanges that have characterised the last few days of the leadership campaign.

On Thursday, Abela’s sister-in-law, Alison Zerafa Civelli, and Fearne’s campaign aide, Paula Cauchi, engaged in a Facebook spat over another persistent rumour that Lou Bondi and Anton Attard were behind Fearne’s campaign.

Zerafa Civelli was reacting to a video clip from 2008 of an interview Abela’s father, George Abela, had given then Bondiplus presenter, Lou Bondi, in which he alleged Joseph Muscat did not play fairly in the leadership campaign at the time.

READ ALSO: Bitter Facebook spat between Abela’s and Fearne’s chief canvassers

The video clip was being shared on WhatsApp groups to try and discredit Abela and Zerafa Civelli accused Fearne’s campaign team of using Bondi’s services. Cauchi reacted with a denial, accusing Zerafa Civelli of peddling a lie.

Fearne denied the Bondi rumour on Xtra later in the day. 

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