Robert Abela has recently surpassed the one-year benchmark as Prime Minister of Malta. After winning the faith of the Labour party members when being the underdog in a tightly contested leadership race with Chris Fearne, Robert Abela’s first year as Prime Minister has been indeed unique. In this article we shall be discussing some of the noteworthy elements during his short yet significant tenure.
A shadow of corruption
As Robert Abela took the helm of the Labour party, work had to be undertaken to minimise the reputational damage caused by the controversy surrounding Joseph Muscat’s administration in light of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Robert Abela took charge during a very delicate time for the Labour party, as the former Prime Minister had no other option but to resign from office due to the insurmountable controversy. In view of the public protests and media scrutiny, Robert Abela did indeed have his work cut out for him.
During his first year in leadership, Robert Abela had to face the unprecedented situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the current Prime Minister inherited a thriving economy, the global landscape contracted. In view of the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent restrictions, businesses felt the hit and were forced to release staff and reduce salary expenses. In this regard, a solid package aimed at cushioning the blow was spearheaded by Robert Abela’s government, in a bid to maintain stability in an unstable situation. Till today, Robert Abela still faces the challenges of this dreadful pandemic and although vaccines are in hand, it would be interesting to see how he will plan and implement Malta’s recovery strategy.
What’s looming for Malta’s political landscape?
If rumours are anything to go by, Malta may as well be going through another general election in the coming months. It would be good to keep in mind that Robert Abela has never won a general election as a leader and this may be a strategy to re-affirm faith in him. He is also facing a new opponent as leader of the Nationalist party because Bernard Grech has recently took charge. Should an election take place, its result may be heavily influenced by the way Malta exits the pandemic and Robert Abela’s promised strategy for the country going forward.
What do you think about Robert Abela’s first year as Prime Minister? What would you have done differently? Let us know your views in the comments section below.