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'Hold your horses' - Muscat's message to possible successors

Not yet time for the leadership race to start

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s “assurance” on Sunday that he still had a lot of work to do has been read as a hint to possible successors to hold their horses.

Speaking during a political activity in Qormi, Dr Muscat insisted that although he would stick to his plan to only serve two terms in office, he was not going anywhere anytime soon.

Party sources said this was being interpreted internally as a message to hold off to those who thought it was time to start the race to replace him. “The message is ‘I am not going anywhere yet’ so hold off,” one party source said.

Dr Muscat’s remarks came a week after a radio interview in which he insisted he would stick to his decision to leave the helm of the party after winning two general elections.

Sources said that shortly after the interview was published, the PL was buzzing with rumours that Dr Muscat had unofficially blown the whistle for the start of a leadership succession race.

“The feeling within the party over the past few days has been that those who fancy they have chances at the leadership can start actively campaigning, rather than doing so in back rooms and in hushed voices,” the sources said.

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