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NEWS | Sunday, 27 April 2008

Coleiro-Preca to turn MLP into ‘strong' party

David Darmanin

Labour MP Marie Louise Coleiro-Preca explained that her race for the party leadership was motivated by a will to make “a strong political force” out of the MLP.
“I also want to build a solid democracy for our country,” Coleiro-Preca said at a press event held yesterday at the Qormi flea market. Her campaign slogan ‘Close to people so we can all win’ characterised her people-oriented style, she said.
“I am listening to people in order to translate their aspirations into tangible proposals for the MLP. I believe the party needs an identity based on social-democratic values.”
With 34 years experience in politics behind her, Coleiro-Preca is the first female candidate to contest the post of Labour leader. Contesting general elections three consecutive times, she garnered 2,205 votes in 1998, doubling to 4,435 in 2003.
In the last elections, she upped her first preference votes to a staggering 5,490 in the sixth district. “45% of those identifying with Labour voted for me in the last elections, while I touched 56% of votes among those shifting to Labour. My success is attributed to working very closely with people.”
Asked whether she agrees with the idea of extending the voting base to party members, rather than just delegates, Colerio-Preca said: “I will be right behind any opportunity leading to the widening of a democratic structure. That said, these things cannot be implemented overnight. There are logistical implications that would need to be taken into account… But I agree with the principle, since it would consolidate democracy.”

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