Miriam Dalli applauds Robert Abela: ‘He did not try to eliminate his competition’

The Labour MEP did not throw her hat in the ring for the leadership race and took a step back during the campaign

Labour MEP Miriam Dalli
Labour MEP Miriam Dalli

Miriam Dalli has applauded Robert Abela’s leadership victory, describing him as a politician who is “full of energy”.

But in a telling comment, the Labour MEP said her admiration for Abela was based on his call for unity.

“Robert did not try to eliminate anyone who could be his competition. He can unite us, not divide us,” she said on One TV this afternoon.

Dalli had been touted as a leadership contender but in a surprise move decided not to throw her hat in the race.

The reasons for Dalli’s decision remain unknown but there had been an initial attempt within the party at the time to install Fearne as leader with no competition.

However, Abela jumped ship and decided to contest Fearne, describing the proposed arrangement a “devilish pact”.

Abela was elected Labour leader on Saturday with 57.9% of the members’ vote.

Dalli said that during the campaign she took a step back to allow members the space to make their own decision.

She said Abela will have the support of all Labour MEPs in Europe, where much had to be done to repair Malta's reputation.