Prime Minister Robert Abela on Sunday lashed out at the Nationalist Party, saying it was "surreal" that the PN was preoccupied with a leadership race during an ongoing pandemic.

Abela said the PN had failed to offer viable proposals during a crucial time for national unity.  He was speaking during a phone-in interview broadcast on Labour Party radio station One Radio on Sunday morning. 

“I honestly question what would have happened if the Nationalist Party were leading the country today, what would happen to our country and our people,” Abela said. 

“It’s surreal for the opposition to decide to go for a leadership race in the middle of a pandemic. Instead of an opposition that is working with the government on viable proposals, we have an opposition that is completely absent and preoccupied by internal conflict on whether to back one candidate or another.”

The prime minister said he was not interested in who would become PN leader but expressed concern that both candidates lacked a sense of vision. 

“What I find worrying is seeing two people step up to the play with a complete lack of vision for social policy, for civil liberties or for the environment,” Abela said. 

“What stands out from their arguments is the superficiality of it all that shows you a lack of profound thinking and authenticity in their message to the people.” 

“I’m certain that people at home are analysing the situation and they know who is working for the betterment of the country and who, in times of crisis, were wrapped up in self-preservation rather than the good of the people.”

PN leader Adrian Delia will run against contender Bernard Grech in a leadership race that will determine who will lead Malta's opposition party. 

Vaccines

Commenting on Malta’s allocation of 330,000 doses of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, Abela said this was the fruit of a timely decision taken by cabinet to allocate €1 million in funds to ensure the country had access to the vaccine as soon as it became available. 

“Our strategy has always balanced the health of the people with the health of the economy, by implementing calibrated measures without being aggressive. While other countries chose to go into lockdown, we took a different approach and today’s statistics show that our strategy has left the intended results, in the same way it did last March.” 

The prime minister said he could not accept predictions of unemployment and COVID-19 deaths in the thousands and said he pledged to work to keep those predictions from becoming reality at the start of the pandemic.

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