No PL exponent contacted by TVM has confirmed at this stage that they will be contesting the election for a new leader instead of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg stated that now is not the time for one to say whether one will be contesting. Dr Borg added that efforts are presently needed to maintain unity within the party, and he would see how he could contribute to maintain this unity within the party and in the country.
Labour MP Robert Abela said he is studying what the best interests of the Labour Party are, and what the Party’s call for him is. Dr Abela added that he will decide with the Party’s interest in the forefront.
Euro MP Miriam Dalli said she has not decided whether to contest for Party leadership. Dr Dalli added that every decision she makes will be in the national interest, as well as in that of the Party.
Deputy leaders and Ministers Chris Fearne and Chris Cardona, Minister Owen Bonnici and MP Konrad Mizzi did not reply.
According to the Labour Party statute, every member of the Party can contest for the post of Party leader. This is contrary to the post of Deputy Leader for Parliamentary Affairs, for which only MPs are eligible to contest.
The Statute lays down that the nominations open at least seven days before, and close at least five days before the date of the election which will be decided upon by the Labour Party’s National Executive. In the event of contestation by more than two candidates, a General Conference will be convened to chose two of them. The two contestants polling most votes in the General Conference will then stand for election by the Party Congress.
According to the statute which was updated in 2017, the leader of the Party is elected by the Labour Party Congress, which is made up of General Conference Delegates, Committee Officers and Members, the Councillors’ Section, the Candidates’ Forum and members who would have been regular in their membership dues for at least five years.