Ministers and Labour Party MPs had their say following Saturday’s election as they walked into parliament on Monday. 

Most stuck to Prime Minister Robert Abela’s stance that Sunday’s election results were an expression of trust in the government but also a message that they needed to work harder.

Others added their two cents. 

“It (the election) was an expression of confidence in the government but there is a message that must be taken on board. The prime minister was clear yesterday that the message will be taken up,” Justice Minister Jonathan Attard said. 

The Labour Party saw a majority of around 40,000 votes drop to 8,500 on Sunday, with the PN now seemingly within striking distance. 

Transport Minister Chris Bonett said that the government’s politicians need to rull up their sleeves and work harder. Still, the people said that it is the Labour Party that should lead the country, he said

Video: Chris Sant Fournier

Energy minister Miriam Dalli said that the Labour Party had hoped for a far better result, especially when considering the work done by the government. 

“The result is what it is, and we are all analysing it. There is a message, and we will address that,” she said. 

Her cabinet colleague, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana, said that the people had their say on Saturday. 

“They sent a message and that message was very clear, you don’t need my interpretation,” he said.

Asked if he saw Sunday’s result as a win for Labour, Caruana reiterated that “on Saturday people spoke out, and spoke very clearly”. 

Youth junior minister Keith Azzopardi Tanti said that the election result meant there was a need to work harder and do more good. 

“The general election is in two-and-a-half years, and there are more results to be achieved that will benefit the people,” he said.

Fisheries parliamentary secretary Alicia Bugeja said that “a post mortem” was necessary to see the best way to serve the people. 

Housing minister Roderick Galdes was asked whether the Siġġiewi Housing controversy hurt the Labour Party in the polls. 

“People live there now. I can’t understand why the PN did not want those people to have the right to vote,” he said. (They were not denied the right to vote, but a court said they should vote at their proper place of residence)  

Galdes said he respected the court’s decision but that did not mean he agreed with it. 

Backbench MP Edward Zammit Lewis said the election was a victory, but the reduced gap must be taken into account. 

“I am convinced that the prime minister will take the necessary decisions,” he said. 

He said the impact that Joseph Muscat had on the campaign, particularly his participation at candidates' events, needed to be analysed. 

Tourism minister Clayton Bartolo made a similar point. 

“I think when it comes to Joseph Muscat and all the analysis that needs to be made, it's not about just answering a question on the spot and taking it out of context. One needs to sit down, analyse things seriously, and if decisions need to be taken, they will be”. 

He warned against “shooting from the hip decisions”.

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