Eyes on MLP executive meeting
The Labour Party executive meets this evening to decide on the timeframe
for the general conference, which is likely to be held on 22 May. The
executive is also expected to discuss the leadership issue after Alfred
Sants public declaration that he does not intend contesting the
post of leader.
Meanwhile, the groundwork is still being laid for a leadership contest
that has been characterised by an uncanny silence from possible contenders
who are wary that the Labour leader may yet change his mind at the final
Any contest that includes Sant is considered by possible contenders
as a non-starter because the Labour leader could very well ride on a
wave of sympathy and carry the day hands down.
The only public statement till now was that made by John Attard Montalto,
who said that he was interested in contesting the post of leader. The
other oft-mentioned possible contenders, Evarist Bartolo and George
Abela, are keeping their cards close to their chest. Both are biding
their time to gauge their support from party delegates.
George Abela is a favourite among delegates and officials clamouring
for a clean sweep of the current MLP leadership and administration.
The charismatic lawyer also enjoys wide support among GWU officials.
The two posts for deputy leaders may also be challenged in the general
conference and both Jose Herrera and Leo Brincat have publicly declared
that they would like to contest for one of the posts of deputy leader.
Brincat, however, told online news site di-ve.com that he would contest
George Vellas post only if the former foreign minister decided
to step down. Vella has not made his intentions known yet.
Brincat is known to be in the same group as Evarist Bartolo, which is
looked favourably upon by the current MLP administration.
Election manager Michael Falzon, who has declined to comment, is reportedly
interested in contesting Joe Brincats role as deputy leader for
However, with the MLP media machinery is solidly in the hands of Sants
loyal supporters leadership contenders are worried that they may not
stand a chance. Super One played a major role in politically crushing
Dom Mintoff in 1998. The station was also crucial in swaying delegates
against former deputy leader George Abela in between the first and second
days of the MLP extra-ordinary general conference in the summer of 1998,
which decided on an early election. Abela had addressed delegates on
the first day and spoke against the holding of an early election. His
comments came as a bolt in the blue and Super One swung into action
to downplay Abelas remarks.
As yet few people within Labours fold have expressed their support
for a change in leadership and those who have, have done so in the independent
press or the GWUs newspapers.
What Alfred Sant finally decides to do is being deemed very crucial
and few people are ready to risk their political skin unless they are
certain that the current leadership and administration will change.