Fearne absent for Abela’s victory lap as Labour MPs gather by leader’s side

Deputy prime minister who lost Labour leadership race is not on stage with prime minister-elect Robert Abela 

All the PL parliamentary group was present for the new leader's first speech
All the PL parliamentary group was present for the new leader's first speech

The deputy prime minister of Malta, Chris Fearne, has not appeared on stage by the side of newly-elected Labour leader Robert Abela. 

Fearne, who lost the election yesterday after Abela, 42, won by 57% of some 16,200 votes, was conspicuous by his absence on the stage of the Corradino sports complex, where Abela addressed supporters in his first speech as Labour leader. 

It was Fearne who during a debate on One TV, made an ill-advised invitation to Abela to his victory party at the MFCC, a jib that has turned sour in the face of Abela’s landslide victory. 

Present on stage were Fearne’s own supporters from the Cabinet, like ministers Ian Borg and Owen Bonnici. Fearne enjoyed the support of most Cabinet members.

On stage were Edward Zammit Lewis, Michael Farrugia, Edward Scicluna, Michael Falzon, Clint Camilleri, Justyne Caruana, Carmelo Abela, Jose Herrera, Roderick Galdes, Clifton Grima, Chris Cardona, Evarist Bartolo, Chris Agius, Aaron Farrugia, Julia Farrugia, Silvio Parnis, Silvio Schembri, as well as other MPs like Manuel Mallia, Deo Debattista, Jean Claude Micallef, Alex Muscat, Konrad Mizzi, Byron Camilleri, Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, Clayton Bartolo, Rosianne Cutajar, and MEPs Miriam Dalli, Alex Agius Saliba and Josanne Cutajar.

A Fearne spokesperson has so far not explained the reason for Fearne’s absence. 

Abela gave Fearne “special thanks” for his candidature, “his friendship”, and said he had spoken to him in the morning. “I appreciated his wishes. Tomorrow we will probably be at the gym training,” Abela said.