Lawrence Gonzi will not contest party leadership
PN Leader Lawrence Gonzi announced that he will not be taking part in the PN Leadership race which will be held over the next three months.
The PN will head into opposition, not due to a country suffering, but rather because the country has voted the PN Leader said. Dr Gonzi stipulated that he understands the message from the people and will try and begin to rebuild the PN according to the problems it has had. This process always happens after an election, he said. The process within the three months will see a new Head and Deputy Head of the PN, “and I will not be taking part in this process”.
PN Leader Lawrence Gonzi was giving his concession speech at the PN HQ in Pieta.
The result, although not official, shows a clear message, Dr Gonzi said, thanking the people for taking the mature approach and participating with enthusiasm in a calm campaign. He said that there were no incidents in the campaign and the electorate were able to make their choices due to the parties giving their proposals. He then thanked the population for choosing a Government to lead the country over the next legislature.
“My friends and I lower our heads to this decision by the people. This was the result of democracy, which we believe in,” Dr Gonzi said. He explained that Malta’s democracy has shown its strength and stated that the PN had always said, whatever happens, the people of Malta and Gozo will be the victors.
Dr Gonzi pledged to keep serving the country and emphasised that the country would need to keep heading forward. “This time we will serve the people through Opposition”. He promised that the PN will continue to loyally serve the country. He praised the PL for their victory and personally called PL Leader Joseph Muscat and explained that he will now be Malta’s Prime Minister, and will need to lead Malta over the next five years.
The weight on those in Government is heavy, and the PL will handle this weight he said. He explained that the PN will continue to educate the people and will continue to help find resources for healthcare to provide a high quality of life. He reiterated that Malta is at the heart of Europe and expressed respect for all voters including those who voted PL and AD. “The PN will respect the peoples decision”. He thanked the thousands of volunteers who worked for the PN over the past five years, and the people who made huge sacrifices, including working long working hours, in service of their country and a party which has made a difference in this country’s history.
“Our loss is not a tragedy, it’s the choice of the people”. The result is not the fault of any one person, but rather “my own, I take personal responsibility for this loss.” He assured that PN votes were not wasted, as they will continue to push the candidates to work harder for the country.
Answering questions, Lawrence Gonzi said that he carries the weight of the result on his shoulders. He thanked the PN Secretary General Paul Borg Olivier and PN Deputy Leader Simon Busuttil emphasising his core role throughout the political campaign. “This result reflects the decisions I took throughout the past five years”.
The PN Leader spoke about the polls which were released over the weeks. The trends and the surveys help to see where the voters were leaning, however the number of undecided were quite large, therefore they had no clear indication of a victor. The result, however, showed that the 9 week campaign was not long enough to sway the mind of the voters.