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PL leader ‘must not stand for election’

Nationalist Party general secretary Paul Borg Olivier referred to Joseph Muscat’s interview with The Sunday Times during a political activity in Mġarr yesterday. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Nationalist Party general secretary Paul Borg Olivier referred to Joseph Muscat’s interview with The Sunday Times during a political activity in Mġarr yesterday. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Nationalist Party general secretary Paul Borg Olivier yesterday insisted that Joseph Muscat must withdraw his election candidature after admitting that he had failed to report an alleged drug trafficking case at the Safi Labour Party club to police.

To govern you have to have foresight, not hindsight

“Shame on you, Dr Muscat, for expecting to get away unscathed and not suffer any repercussions for this admitted mistake,” Dr Borg Olivier said during a political activity in Mġarr.

Dr Borg Olivier and Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, who also addressed the event, both referred to the interview Dr Muscat had with The Sunday Times yesterday, in which he admitted making a mistake by not reporting the matter to the police.

Dr Muscat also said that his deputy, Toni Abela, had made mistakes in this case too and, had he been an election candidate, he would have been expected to withdraw from the race.

“By his own yardstick, and since he also knew of the case, he should do the honourable thing and withdraw his election candidature,” Dr Borg Olivier said, adding the admission had shocked him.

Dr Gonzi said the admission was not that Dr Muscat had made a mistake but that he had lied, not only in these weeks when the issue surfaced but has been lying since he found out about it in 2009.

“To govern you have to have foresight, not hindsight. Every time an allegation was made to us, we reported it to the police immediately. Who do you want to govern this country?

“Joseph Muscat, who did not do the most decent thing which was as simple as ABC and, instead, decided to protect the Labour Party, or the PN, which takes action?” he asked.

He pointed out that the Safi PL club was located just metres from the locality’s school and that the maximum punishment for drug trafficking was life imprisonment.

“With us there is no risk at all for people who know what we have done and what we achieved,” he said, mentioning how the PN had made important and difficult decisions such as closing the dockyard, which was siphoning millions of euros from the country’s coffers.

“We are here, ready to serve this country again. I promise you that, if you vote PN, we will not only celebrate a victory for the party on March 10 but a victory for the country,” he said.

Dr Gonzi also referred to the European Commission’s economic report saying Malta would have the second best economic growth among eurozone countries, which meant that there was no need for a change in direction.

In his speech on the Safi drugs case, Dr Borg Olivier said Dr Muscat had the political, ethical and moral responsibility to act and, yet, he did not: “The Labour leader throws mud at others but had now fallen into a puddle of mud and cannot expect to come out of it clean.”

On Labour candidate Manuel Mallia’s request for his incarceration over defamation, Dr Borg Olivier vouched to continue fighting for the truth to emerge and to continue exposing the truth.

“We will not be intimidated by lies. In just one week, we saw a string of lies,” he said.

He continued that silence meant consent and if he closed an eye he would be part of the orchestra of lies.

“We will continue exposing these things for truth to prevail,” Dr Borg Olivier said.

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