Malta will be heading to the polls on Saturday, with Robert Abela managing to refuse repeated invitations to sit for an interview with Times of Malta, more than two years and two months since he became prime minister.

Video: Karl Andrew Micallef

During the campaign, Robert Abela and Bernard Grech were both invited by Times of Malta for a one-on-one interview as well as a feature about a day in their life on the campaign trail. The Nationalist Party leader accepted both invitations, but Abela failed to do so.

The prime minister has similarly refused to accept one-on-one interviews with other independent media organisations and was only interviewed on his party media and the state broadcaster, TVM.

When pressed for a reply, his office said he was very busy and that he took journalists' questions every day during press conferences and when he was doorstepped. 

Despite the repeated invitations, since he took office in January 2020, Abela has repeatedly failed to sit down for an interview with Times of Malta with most requests from different journalists and editors remaining unanswered.

Abela had promised to do his best to work on a robust programme of reforms to strengthen the journalism industry in Malta in the wake of a damning public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder.

Joseph Muscat had similarly also dodged a Times Talk interview during the 2017 election campaign.


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