The start of a new beginning (excuse the pun) or the draw of the final curtain...
Time flies for everyone and if it wasn’t for some billboards popping up for the next election I wouldn’t have believed that the leader of the opposition has been sitting on the other side of the house of parliament for the last 16 years ,except for the 22months that he served as a Prime Minister in 1996.
Sixteen years at the wheel of a party is a very long time and it must be very frustrating to have spent only 22 months in government. The coming general election will be crucial for Alfred Sant. Successive opinion polls and surveys carried out by independent newspapers have confirmed, time and again, that the huge majority of those questioned have little or no faith in Alfred Sant as Prime Minister. This may very well be his last days as leader of the Malta Labour Party after 16 long years on top, or he may go on to win the election meaning that he will carry on for practically another decade.
He surely must be taking this election very seriously. You can’t blame him; his future is at risk. Dr Sant has to win this general election if he wants to hold on to his post. Another defeat at the polls will automatically mean the end of his political career. Alfred Sant has contested three successive general elections as leader of the Labour Party, lost two and won one; should he fail yet again this time round I don’t think there will be a fifth chance for Dr Sant.
Floating voters, and most of the undecided voters including dissatisfied Labourites, have one thing in common; they all think that Dr Sant is not fit to be Prime Minister. Whether they will take this golden opportunity remains to be seen; only the results of 8 March will tell. All those who think that Dr Sant will not make a good Prime Minister know that should Sant make it back to Castile after an absence of 12 years, they will have to put up with him as the man will be around for years to come and what’s most frightening is that if a significant portion of the electorate does not vote, or votes for one of the small parties then Alfred Sant stands a very good chance of being sworn in as Prime Minister on 10 March. There is a good chance of Alfred Sant becoming Malta’s Prime Minister, a very good chance, even if Mintoff, if ever he contests, manages to get enough votes to get a seat in parliament from Cottonera and other districts where he always got a good sustain.
Many still feel that Dr. Sant does not merit making it back to Castile. Time has shown that Alfred Sant took many wrong decisions in government and in Opposition. Alfred Sant has given one wrong advice after the other and he insists in doing so up to the present day. He is the man who furiously opposed Malta’s EU membership for more than a decade. He is the man who opposed Malta’s euro adoption; he is the man who opposed progress every inch of the way. He has now promised to once again re-negotiate certain sectors with the EU when everyone had safely assumed that EU membership was case closed. Dr Sant is undoubtedly a decent man, an accomplished writer and playwright, a man of letters; but by persisting on his mistakes does not make him fit to be Prime Minister. He can’t expect the Maltese people to trust him with their future, so this may be Alfred Sant’s last month in politics or he may remain in the scene for at least another 10 years, I think I better be safe then sorry...