Games of Thrones in Maltese politics

From a reader

The more time passes, it is becoming evident that, rather than living in the Republic of Malta, we are living in the pitiable State of Malta. During the last couple of days, we were told that the two leaders of Malta’s major parties; Prime Minister Dr Robert Abela and Opposition Leader Dr Bernard Grech, for different reasons, asked one of their subordinates to tender their resignation. Both refused to comply.

On the Nationalist Party side, Ms Anne Marie Muscat Fenech Adami, Naxxar’s mayor, refused to resign when asked to by the General Secretary of the NP, Mr Michael Piccinino. She claims the request is vitiated by the dirty manoeuvres within the NP to push her aside.  On the Labour Government’s side, Education Minister Justyne Caruana, is reported to have refused to tender her resignation as requested by  Prime Minister, Dr Robert Abela, following the publication of the damning report regarding the definite contract of employment she gave to her partner. Her reasons for refusing are still not known. Though different, these refusals share a common factor. Setting aside the fact that both are women, the common trait is that they both refused to obey the orders of their superiors, thus both ended up challenging authority. In the process, they are showing that the two leaders lack authority. Why do these two leaders lack authority and leadership status?

The reasons and events that led to Dr Abela and Dr Grech becoming leaders of their respective parties are fairly known. They share a common denominator. They both ended up becoming leaders through some form of compromise between their would-be subordinates and the Party Executive. They also share another angle. Those who helped them become leaders have skeletons in their drawers and in all probability, many within their respective party are aware of the skeletons in their wardrobes! We, therefore, have a situation where two men at the top are unable to exert their authority and show any leadership qualities. A political scenario is being developed on which these two leaders have no control. Both have to act out and are obliged to defend indefensible behaviour.

This situation has been well sussed and understood by members of both parties and it is contaminating all sections within their parties. This has brought about a situation that, when the leaders demand discipline, it falls on deaf ears. The obvious defence is that since control was not enforced when handling much more serious cases, then they cannot be expected to sort out minor issues. There are no two weights or two measures and this has become simply unacceptable to those on whom the party wants to exercise discipline.

One has to pray that such leadership will come to an end someday. Perhaps the present leaders are hoping that after the next elections, they would be in a better position to strengthen their leadership and authority. These games of thrones need to end. What we need are genuine, capable leaders. Leaders, who deserve respect, are those who are capable to lead and not minions to their electorate. Whatever the future holds, this current tragi-comedy, being played out in our country, should stop.

This current political situation should serve as a lesson to any future leader. Future leaders should win the throne under their own steam and on their own merits. Candidates should never enter a race subjecting themselves to compromises or undercurrent manoeuvres in order to win. In so doing, they would have to pay a dear price. They would be nothing more than phoney leaders. If this is not the pitiable State of Malta, then it must be a comedy State!


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