In an interview published in The Malta Independent today, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi gave the following reply :
“Question : You have ruled out the possibility of forming any sort of a post-electoral coalition, would you stand by that even if it meant the PN in opposition?
Answer : There are all these hypotheses. What I say is let’s wait for the results on 8 March. I hope the results will give us a stable, clear political situation. People must be reminded that if we have a third party that sees a candidate elected to Parliament, the Constitution guarantees that whoever has the largest number of seats, even though with a minority of votes, would govern this country.As such, a coalition could be created in such a way that would provide a majority of seats but not a majority of votes – that would be a disaster for the country. It would create instability and all the economic repercussions that that brings about.I am hoping the electorate will realise this and vote in favour of my party, because I believe we have come up with policies of real substance, policies that have already given us good results and which are proposing even better results for the future.
I must emphasise my position on this coalition issue.
First of all, I respect the decision and position taken by Alternattiva Demokratika and the other parties. It is their right to propose alternatives, I listen carefully to them and I have listened carefully for the past four years so this must not be taken as a criticism on my part at all.
But it can’t be that I am facing a party that has been hitting us hard for the last year four years and then, three weeks before an election, suddenly turns around and tells me ‘let’s set up a coalition’.
That does not sound quite right, so I need to be convinced.”
Although there are some inaccuracies in Dr Gonzi’s reply, that’s some progress. Lawrence Gonzi needs to be convinced after the 8 March results. Sounds reasonable to me !