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NEWS | Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Labour contenders rush to decry leak of delegates’ list

Party says all contenders had a copy of the list. By Matthew Vella

With ‘condemnations’ being the order of the day on Sunday when two Labour leadership contenders decried a leak of the party’s delegates’ list, referring to MaltaToday’s survey on Sunday amongst Labour delegates, the party’s central office has now rushed to clear its name of any suspicion.
Yesterday, Labour issued a press statement saying the delegates’ list had been made available to everyone contesting for a post in the party’s internal structures, including the national executive and party administration, as well as the MLP candidates.
The party said that every candidate for Labour’s leadership and deputy leadership posts were given the delegates’ list.
“Any sort of speculation on this matter is intended to damage the Labour Party,” the statement read.
On Sunday, the leak came under fire from both contenders Michael Falzon and Marie Louise Coleiro-Preca.
On Monday, Falzon also told TV presenter Brian Hansford that he had written to the party’s electoral office asking it to investigate the matter as well as to the Discipline and Vigilance Board.
“What is even more disgusting about the leak is that whoever gave them the information – and it must be a person at the heart of the party – indicated who of that list should be called and who should not. People who I know support me were not called,” Falzon claimed.
Labour MP and contender Evarist Bartolo said yesterday the leakage of details about the MLP delegates to MaltaToday had ‘poisoned’ the process for the election of the Labour leadership by trying to condition the delegates.
Joseph Muscat also wrote to Labour’s electoral commission to investigate the leak: “It’s unacceptable and must be taken seriously.”
The survey was conducted with 370 delegates chosen at random from the full list of MLP delegates. 270 accepted to be interviewed, with 31.5% stating their preference for Joseph Muscat, 10% for George Abela, 7.7% for Falzon, 2.6% for Coleiro-Preca, and 1.9% for Evarist Bartolo – another 28.8% stated they did not know who to vote for. Of the 145 delegates who had made their mind up, 58.6% said they would vote for Muscat, 18.6% for Abela, and 14.5% for Falzon.


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