Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has broken his silence on his personal future in a new interview where he speaks of his remaining political ambitions, how Labour supporters view him and whether he has any regrets.
Muscat, who 19 months ago had resigned as Valletta was awash with protests and his administration was plagued by scandal, said he was not ready to say he would never return to politics.
“If they keep annoying me, I do not exclude it,” he told the Times of Malta in a new interview set to be released today and Sunday. “I’m giving you something to think about. Because people say I’m going to contest, so I figured I’d say I don’t exclude it.”
However, he ruled out making a bid for party leader or contesting the upcoming general election.
The interview touches upon other subjects, such as what Muscat’s ultimate legacy will be, to which he says: “I’m still 47. There’s still more to say and do.”
When asked if he has any regrets, Muscat said: “I prefer to focus on the future. I’m not trying to dodge the question. Do I have regrets? Obviously, I have regrets.”
Muscat also said he couldn’t be sure whether he remained popular or not among voters, even though members of his own Labour Party had since called for him to be ousted.
“There are a number of people who have a right to express themselves and the media is promoting that opinion. What I can say is there’s a lot of support.”
“I see a chorus of people supporting me. While others might share different views, in the last weeks I’ve seen an unprecedented number of people supporting me. In reality, it’s irrelevant. I still feel the people’s love but I can’t gauge if I’m still popular or not.”
The Nationalist Party said the interview was a “desperate attempt to assert his dominance over Robert Abela
“It is incredible that the man who began his career campaigning to keep Malta out of the EU and ended it with getting the island greylisted, still blames the Nationalist Party for all his bitter failings,” they told Lovin Malta.
“His interview is a desperate attempt to assert his dominance over Robert Abela and keep the Labour Party from expelling him over his involvement in creating a culture of impunity that led to the barbaric assassination of a journalist.”
“While the official Prime Minister hides from interviews, Joseph Muscat threatens to return to politics if people keep annoying him,” the PN said. “This shows exactly what Muscat thinks of his crowned continuity candidate, what he thinks of the electorate and how he views the purpose of politics.”
Do you agree with Muscat’s comments?