The Leader of the Oppositon, Bernard Grech, attacked Robert Abela for the fact that the newly elected member of Parliament, Gavin Gulia, resigned immediately after being sworn in. Grech maintains that Robert Abela is showing that he is only interested in the partisan affairs of his Labour Party and continues to accuse the Prime Minister of ridiculing the highest institution in the land by accepting Gulia’s resignation seconds after taking the oath.
Bernard Grech insists that this was all a preconceived plan on the part of the Prime Minister to insult the electorate of the seventh district that had cast its vote. Furthermore, he accused Abela of manipulating the democratic system to introduce into Parliament a person to his liking who have not actually been elected by the people.
Unfortunately, with such declarations, Bernard Grech is exposing himself to ridicule. There was no preconceived plan, even if there were a number of Labour candidates eligible for this election who seemed to have been discouraged from signing up for this bye-election. But still, there were three contestants and the result was known. Given our system, the chances were for the person whose surname begins with the letter ‘a’ to make it to parliament. Therefore, this was a democratic election and no one could still foresee its outcome. Abela was lucky that Gulia got elected. In fact, according to the TOM the contestant who came a close second in Tuesday’s casual election, Jeffrey Pullicino Orland, is reported to have said “I have my reasons to believe that it was not pre-arranged…” While the Malta Independent also quotes Jeffrey Pullicino Orland as saying “I am convinced Gulia contesting was not a devious plot to keep us out.” There is no doubt that these statements will be subject to further analysis in the near future. Their truth and validity will be definitely tested.
What is dreadful is that with his inane allegation Bernard Grech believed he was going to garner sympathy from the electorate. But he has been proven wrong. Even Nationalists have ended up criticising him. Franco Debono reminded him that this was not the first time, that an MP, who got elected in a bye-election, resigns. Debono carries on to jog Grech’s memory saying that the Nationalist MP Jean-Pierre Debono gave up his seat to allow Adrian Delia to be elected to Parliament. A bye-election followed and Peter Micallef was elected. After being sworn in Parliament, Peter Micallef immediately resigned thus allowing for Adrian Delia to be co-opted to Parliament. When this happened, Bernard Grech never bat an eyelid and certainly never declared that with such actions the Nationalist Party was ridiculing the democratic system of the country. This is why the PN administration needs to pause and reflect before shooting from the hip. This is what happens when politicians forget or choose to forget the history of their own party!
Now what is even worse for the PN is that, the Prime Minister has appointed a physically impaired person as MP instead of Gavin Gulia. What is the PN going to do now? With Bernard Grech’s loud-mouthedness, the Nationalist Party has ended up appearing the party that opposes the physically impaired being elected to Parliament.
The political truth is that the Labour Party is again taking the lead and is renewing itself at every opportunity that comes its way. Gavin Gulia represented the old guard in the party. One who served his country between 1996 and 1998. The Labour Party wants new blood. It is already renewing and electing new MPs who are not even connected with the 2013 election. The Nationalist Party’s problem is that it is lumbered with musty MPs. Most served the country well before 2013 and the younger ones just tow the existing line. All Bernard Grech, as leader of the Opposition is doing with his antics is to highlight how outmodedly heavy and stale the Party has become.