Controversial Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi has skirted direct questions about his intention on contesting the role of Labour Party leader.
Mizzi, who has been mired in controversy since 2016 after it was revealed that he owned a company in the financially secretive jurisdiction of Panama, has reportedly been in touch with Labour delegates over a potential bid at contesting for PL leader.
Mizzi, in various press statements, denied having meetings with the Prime Minister, Deputy Minister or any other high ranking official, however he failed to deny reports of sounding out a possible leadership bid with the party’s delegates.
Fielding questions from journalists following an Air Malta press conference on Sunday morning, Mizzi said that it was his duty to work with the party in order to keep Prime Minister Joseph Muscat as the leader.
Speaking with MaltaToday, Mizzi described Muscat as being the most popular leader Malta has ever had
Muscat has repeatedly said that he will not be contesting the next general election. More recently, he has called for term limits to be imposed for Prime Ministers and Members of Parliament, suggesting a two-term limit for the former and a four-term limit for the latter.
When asked whether Mizzi’s role in the Panama Papers scandal would cast a dark shadow over the PL with him as leader, Mizzi failed to answer directly, instead stressing that the intention is to dissuade Muscat from resigning from his post.
“Joseph Muscat is the leader, and all the party is behind him. I have had the opportunity to work with him for the past few years. Apart from that, he is a good friend of mine – I respect him, and I think he is the best Prime Minister Malta ever had,” Mizzi told MaltaToday.