Chris Fearne is a well-seasoned politician and a respected figure within the medical community. Following the controversy surrounding Joseph Muscat’s office, prompting him to resign from his post as Prime Minister, Chris Fearne was one of the contenders for the leadership role.
Identified as a clear favourite, Chris Fearne was expected to take on the helm of the Labour party and lead the country as Prime Minister. Having went on head to head with Robert Abela, Chris Fearne lost in this leadership race, having to succumb to bitter medicine as what appeared as a clear victory turned into an unexpected loss.
Where did it all go wrong for Chris Fearne?
Underestimating Robert Abela
Although Robert Abela was far away from being a favourite, Chris Fearne may have underestimated his adversary. Although he lacked the popularity of Chris Fearne, his wife Lydia was heavily involved within the party. This is combined with the fact that his father, George Abela, the former President is a well-respected figure within the Labour party. These worked undoubtedly in Robert Abela’s favour and may have been overlooked during the campaign.
Fearne may have been perceived as cocky
Chris Fearne may have been perceived as a tad cocky. He had a nicely designed campaign with some controversial moments. One episode was when he emphasised that he wanted to bring an end to the Nationalist party. He stated that written on his tombstone he wanted the phrase “RIPN” to signify that it was him who brought an end to the Nationalist party. This comment was not well received by many floaters who argued that an aspiring Prime Minister cannot push forward such a divisive mantra. Some argued at the time, that this was indeed a strategy to appeal to the Labour diehards, who were members within the party and would be voting for the new leader. Another episode which was reported in the media was that Chris Fearne had already booked the venue to celebrate his win, having invited his adversary before the vote. This may have been interpreted as extremely cocky and could have won Robert Abela some sympathy points. Talk about counting your chickens before they hatch!
Amidst suspicions that Chris Fearne would distance himself from the Labour party following this bitter defeat, it seems that Robert Abela is keen to allow him back in his position as Deputy Leader. This is a position which will undoubtedly place him very close to Robert Abela, the man who surpassed him in the leadership race.
Only time will tell what part Chris Fearne will play within the Labour party. Was retaining him as Deputy Leader a good move by Robert Abela? Let us know in the comments section below.