Incoming Prime Minister Robert Abela has pledged continuity from Joseph Muscat’s political vision in his first speech since sweeping to victory in last night’s Labour leadership election.
“I won’t talk about the legacy our friend Joseph left us because one only talks about legacies when someone is missing,” Abela told a large audience of PL supporters in a speech at the Padiljun Sportiv in Paola.
“I will keep Joseph’s project alive and strong, the project of a movement that gave us ten electoral victories. The people still trust us and we must repay their trust. The secret is that we must be a party that is open to everyone, a party that doesn’t look at people’s faces or their political or religious beliefs, but only at what unites us.”
“We are the party of unity, the party that believes in giving everyone equal opportunities to progress, no matter who you are and where you come from. That is what the Labour Party means, that is what this movement means, that is what we believe in.”
He added that the PL must also strike a balance between being open to everyone and keeping its own party grassroots in mind and pledged to lead through the values of social justice, social mobility, national unity and equality.
Reaching out to those who are concerned that their businesses and investments are threatened by the political situation, Abela said he is committed to implementing the necessary changes and ensuring stability.
“Continuity means keeping the good and fixing the wrong and we must be humble enough to admit that we’ve made mistakes. Only those who do nothing don’t make mistakes but we cannot close an eye to them. We’ve learned from them and we won’t repeat them, you have my word for it.”
“I will work with my friends in the parliamentary group and with you [the people] to keep strengthening the rule of law and good governance because I believe that is the right path for the people and the country. I will also be very firm in ensuring that we abide by our mandate to govern that the people have trusted us with. We will implement change where it is needed but we must be allowed to govern. That is what the people want and that is democracy.”
Abela also said he is a big believer in self-discipline and that such a principle must be implemented fairly.
“I want this message to get across. There aren’t tragedies in the country but we must understand that this is a sensitive moment which requires thought, vision and discipline, but I’m convinced we’ll soon emerge from it stronger than before.”