You can never aspire to unite a people if you do not unite your party first, Prime Minister and Labour Leader Joseph Muscat said on Sunday morning.
Unity is the prerequisite for everything, he said when speaking at a PL celebration activity in Valletta.
“We have written history together. People showed that they want unity over division, optimism over negativity, and to move forward, not back.”
A party, a movement does not unite because of one person. It does that thanks to the hard work of each and every one of us, Muscat said.
“We removed individualism and egoism and decided to work together. This is the fundamental basis that allows us to achieve these huge successes,” Muscat said.
“The greatest lesson to come out from these results – ten consecutive electoral successes – is that the movement is not one person.”
Turning to the local council elections, Muscat said that newly elected mayors and councillors must work together to implement what was pledged to the people.
“70% of local councils now PL-led. Only 16 councils are in minority but they have still managed to improve over previous results. He promised to give these councils backing.”
Muscat said the PL will work ever harder and do its utmost so that more youths, women and disabled persons take part in public life.
He spoke about the Labour win in Valletta, saying it was symbolic because public scrutiny and expectations, given Valletta’s status, would be bigger than ever.
“I don’t want this to be a one-off. I want the PL to retain its majority in Valletta in five years’ time,” Muscat said.
“The people sent out such a strong message that it wants the government to be scrutinised but also that it will never accept there to be people who actively work against the country. But only 24 hours after the result, the Opposition MEPs went to Brussels to resume the same tactics.”
Referring to Adrian Delia’s comments that he would not give importance to PN MP Jason Azzopardi, Muscat said: “while he is still under your responsibility you cannot ignore him.”
Faced by the negative attitude coming from the opposition, we will not be demoralised, the PM said. “This attitude will only give us more strength, unity and resolve.”
“We will remain focused, and are already working on the next budget, which will give more to the people. We will increase pensions and stipends and give all workers an extra day of leave.”
The government would also work on big reforms, including on the rental market, which will be explained in the coming weeks. It will also work on the Constitutional reform and new measures to improve female representation,
The ‘us’ is bigger than the ‘me’, Muscat concluded. “This has to remain etched in our hearts and minds.”
Three of the PL’s four MEPs also addressed the crowd.
Alex Agius Saliba said the people had chosen Joseph Muscat over Adrian Delia, the politics of hope rather than those of fear. There is no greater privilege than representing your country, he said, adding that he will make every effort to clear Malta’s name and defend it against all attacks. He hoped that, after the electoral defeat, the two PN MEPs would learn from their past mistakes and change their methods. But it is clear, he said, that the Nationalist MEPs are refusing to listen, saying that had refused to attend a meeting with President George Vella.
Alfred Sant said Joseph Muscat had promised to bring an earthquake into Maltese politics, something which Sant had initially doubted. But the PM managed to do this several times. He spoke of the historic result Labour had obtained not only in the European Parliament elections but also in the local council elections. Over the past years, the EU was led by circumstances like migration, the Greek crisis and terrorism. There might be new developments over the next five years that lead Europe to react. We have to keep our feet on the ground and make the choices that are in the best interests of Malta, Sant said.
In a recorded clip, Miriam Dalli pledged that the four MEPs would be doing more work in the coming weeks and months. She explained that she was not present because she had promised her children to spend time with them after the campaign. The PL had always taken decisions in favour of Maltese families, she said, and the electorate had shown that it wants the PL to make more decisions for the benefit of the country. This includes working for a better environment, better jobs with better pay, fighting against poverty, investing further in education and giving more dignity to the elderly. She said the main difference was that the PL MEPs had always been a united team and said we also have to be united as a country. We are ready to take Malta to the next level, Dalli said.
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