Labour revolt quashed by Sants
It was revealed to The Malta Financial and Business Times
yesterday that when meeting with the National Executive on Monday, Opposition
leader Alfred Sant scolded members of the executive for looking at this
weekends referendum in terms of mere numbers.
Dr Sant then went on to add that if they wanted to win the forthcoming
elections, then the way forward was his way.
Malta and Gozo had suffered a rude awakening on Monday morning. This
was similar to the 1981 predicament, but this time no constitutional
clause could validate the false interpretation of result.
Alfred Sant had stooped to a record low. On Sunday, in the light of
a 20,000 swing in favour of Europe, he trailblazed the security cordons
at Ta Qali and cushioned all talk of defeat and claimed victory
when he should have been accepting a loss at the polls.
MLP counting agents were told to smile and show confidence, with propaganda
chief Manwel Cuschieri lying through his teeth about a Labour victory.
Super One TV relayed images of helpers preparing for a celebration rally.
It appeared surreal but it was true.
The height of Dr Sants irresponsibility reached epic proportions
when he announced that people should attend the rally, knowing all too
well, that IVA supporters were on the roads celebrating their part
of the victory.
Breaking all respect for democratic principles, the man from Harvard
declared the yes vote had not prevailed. The man who had
previously declared he had no idea how he would interpret the result,
had a sudden inspiration as to how he could take full advantage of the
Knowing perfectly well that 19,000 plus voters represented the difference
between the yes and no vote, he still chose
to misinterpret the result. Aided by his propaganda chiefs and acolytes,
he managed to introduce some form of vigour in the Labour camp. But
the feeling on the periphery of the party was looking fragile yesterday,
with deputy leader Dr George Vella showing physical signs of concern
at his stance and others silent, or far from enthusiastic, with Alfred
Sants new mathematical prowess.
And yesterday, in the courts, MLP candidates and members of parliament
were openly questioning his stance. Privately, many in the Labour hierarchy
are disgusted with the Leader of the Oppositions actions of the
past few days. Several Labour leaning lawyers were seen shaking their
heads in disbelief when the topic was brought up in conversation.
However, no one in the MLP ranks has had the audacity to publicly question
the Sant position.
What could have been a major coup was effectively quashed by Alfred
Sant, who spelled out Labours position immediately, pre-empting
any possible discussion on Labours direction and his leadership.
The closest anyone has come to questioning Alfred Sant was Lino Spiteri
writing in the press yesterday. Even his erstwhile colleague, George
Abela a former deputy leader of the MLP could not find the courage to
stand up and be counted.
Alfred Sants reaction to the referendum victory may work against
him in the end. His abrasive and unacceptable remarks have left a mark
on the middle ground, the electoral segment he has tried so hard to
impress in his attempt to win support.
Many moderate labourites have also expressed dismay at Sants dysfunctional
As he prepares for the general election on April 12, his opponents watch
with veiled respect and trepidation. Many are worried that his return
to power will take Malta back to yesteryear.
The business community is also anxious about the election outcome, hoping
the general elections will kill all uncertainty. The business community
also looks to the election as the key to widening its investment and