The most recent events in the local political scene have created quite a stir. In actual fact not much has happened. The split in the PN parliamentary group, visible for months, is now official. It is also clear that GonziPN can no longer claim that he has a workable parliamentary majority, although this was evident at least since the beginning of the year. The fact that the Prime Minister is obsessed with clinging to his seat of power is also yesterday’s news. This is GonziPN’s theme. Dr. Gonzi is using all the tricks in the book to present different scenarios, but the people, including a vast majority of PN followers, know that his time is up.
Dr. Gonzi’s style of government has created dissent from within his own ranks in Parliament; his style of leadership has caused a division in his party with members accusing GonziPN’s style of leadership to that of totalitarian regimes; now his personal obsession to cling to power against all odds, is causing a rift right inside his core strategy group. Senior Nationalist insiders have indicated that even seasoned campaigners who have been responsible for running past elections are desperately trying to persuade Lawrence Gonzi to call an election soon.
Local PN leaning newspapers and news portals are also hinting that the prime minister should call an election now, if possible. A number of surveys are being carried out, though the projected result is very similar to all of them. The strategy team of the PN fear that further procrastination by the Prime Minister would lead the party to a heavier defeat. They feel that the sooner the Party starts to re-build the better the chances for the future. The country knows that this uncertainty and instability is harming the nation but Dr. Gonzi insists in trying to prolong his stay in the seat of power to the detriment of his party and to the nation as a whole.
The writing has been on the wall, ever since the first parliamentary vote that did not go Gonzi’s way. It is only the Prime Minister who refuses to look that way. Lawrence Gonzi could have saved his party from further humiliation by calling an election immediately after banning the three MPs from the next election. He would have avoided the public involvement in the internal affairs of his party, but instead he keeps varying his approach and strategy towards dissenting MPs to try and secure their vote in parliament.
Gonzi seems to be prepared to compromise on his principles to stay in power. On IVF he was quoted as saying that vitrification would create government dilemmas since it is something Catholic leaders are opposed to. The Whistleblower Act has been dormant on the second reading for two years and the Co-habitation law had been promised by the PN for over 14 years but was never brought before Parliament for fear it goes against the conservative policies of his party. Now, in an excuse to encourage Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando to vote for his government, Gonzi has said that these bills are a priority when Parliament meets again in October. This is not the Gonzi that people expected.
The Prime Minister knows that a coalition is never an arrangement for a few months. His definition of the so-called ‘arrangement’ with Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando is nothing but an excuse to stay in power for a little longer. Gonzi’s obsession has not changed.