Malta’s new PM pledges to lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela on Monday pledged to continue with the removal of restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving it up to people to choose how to safeguard their own wellbeing.

In an address to the nation, just hours after taking his oath of office following his massive victory at the polls over the weekend, Abela also promised to work to regain the trust of those who opted not to vote in Saturday’s general election which saw the lowest voter turnout since the island’s independence in the 1960s.

Abela’s Labour Party won the general election with a comfortable advantage over the Nationalist Party (PN) in opposition, obtaining a generous 55.1 percent of the vote against PN’s 41.7 percent.

The election was characterised by a record low turnout since independence, at 85.5 percent.

This is Abela’s first mandate as party leader and prime minister after he took over from Joseph Muscat who resigned in early 2020.

In his televised address, Abela said he will continue to seek expert advice but the path the country had embarked on towards the total removal of COVID-19 restrictions will continue as planned because the pandemic had brought about too many hardships on people.

Turning to plans he had for the legislature, Abela pledged to continue working towards better economic growth based on sustainability and to continue investing in education, job creation, quality careers and a special emphasis on the environment.

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