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I will reciprocate your trust in a tangible manner - Louis Grech

Muscat says Grech will make a 'formidable' deputy Prime Minister

Labour MEP Louis Grech was this evening elected PL deputy leader for Parliamentary Affairs after obtaining more than 97 per cent of the votes cast in today's election.

Addressing a news conference shortly after his election, Mr Grech thanked delegates for their confidence which he promised to reciprocate in a tangible manner. He also announced he will be contesting the next election.

A total 749 of the 789  PL delegates cast their to elect a new deputy leader. Mr Grech was the sole contender but he needed to obtain 50 per cent plus one of the votes cast to be elected.

Giving the result, PL deputy leader for party affairs Toni Abela said that 743 of the votes cast were valid. A total 724 voters voted for Mr Grech while 16 voted against. There were three abstentions.

Mr Grech said he believed he could contribute to the concept of change that the country needed.

Labour, he said, would like to upgrade the country’s values to ensure meritocracy, accountability and transparency.

There should also be a reform in the thought process. “We should not be so judgemental,” he said.

Mr Grech said that a balance had to be found between having a competitive economy and safeguarding social and environmental rights. One had to invest in research and technology while taking care of the vulnerable.

The business community, he said, had to be given the necessary tools to create wealth and there also had to be more respect for the people, who should be given more powers and value added.

Should Labour be elected to government, Mr Grech said, the party had to make sure that it implemented what it promised.

“We will not promise miracles and we have to implement what we promise. We also have to have the courage to tell the people should we face problems... We want to have an honest relationship with the people.”

Politicians, he said, should learn they had to gain the people’s respect.

“This cannot be bought.”

Party leader Joseph Muscat thanked delegates for their vote and insisted that Anglu Farrugia remained relevant for the party.

Mr Grech’s appointment, he said, was major value added for the party and the country.

The country had acquired the services of a person who would make a formidable deputy Prime Minister and with him, the Labour movement would be able to bring about the necessary change.

Labour, Dr Muscat said, wanted next March 10 to be a normal day where the whole nation and not half of it would be a winner.

Mr Grech election followed the surprise resignation of Dr Farrugia who was forced to step down after he said that a magistrate was politically motivated when she acquitted a man of corrupt practices.

The election was coordinated by the party's electoral commission.

Sources said that Dr Farrugia did not turn up to vote.

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