To say that the current Prime Minister Robert Abela has had his work cut out for him in his first year as leader, would be an understatement. During his first year in one of the most challenging public roles, Abela has had to face an unprecedented situation, nothing like what his predecessors had to overcome. In this article, we shall be discussing some of the major elements that may impact his re-election campaign.
A challenging economic scenario
The restrictions and quasi-lockdowns endured during these past months were brought about by an unforgiving pandemic, which has landed the country into a deficit. The hardships caused by this pandemic, which are out of the control of any politician, are likely to sway away followers of the party in government. The reason for this is because that people are accustomed to a better quality of life and would hence associate these difficult times with the current administration. A lot will depend on how Malta will exit the pandemic and the economic activities which follow once we are back to normal.
Legacy issues within the Labour party
Although the Labour party holds an impressive track record of election wins, by large margins, there are several legacy issues which taint its reputation. Claims of corruption and the tainted image of the former Prime Minister weigh heavily on the current leader as decisive action is expected.
A new leader of opposition
The Nationalist party has armed itself with a new leader and several initiatives aimed at improving its standing. Facing someone new always brings about its own challenges, especially in politics. Although polls published by the media still place Robert Abela in a favourable position, they show that the gap between both parties is narrowing.
Very few would argue that Robert Abela’s first year in politics has been mainly an exercise in crisis management. Although the pandemic shook the country to its core, one can argue that Malta has managed to weather most of the storm, keeping active cases low for most part of the pandemic with closures being restricted to a few months. When compared to other countries, Malta’s restrictions were less imposing as the country still managed to control the pandemic. The way Government manages to control the pandemic will impact its credibility for the upcoming election.
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