The election of Dr Robert Abela as seen and reported abroad

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Dr Robert Abela’s election was given a lot of attention from international news agencies and news outlets.

The reports focus on the fact that Dr Abela was an outsider, the son of a former president who took over Malta’s premiership in the wake the revelations of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination.

Here’s how it was reported:

BBC – Malta’s governing party has elected a new leader and prime minister to replace Joseph Muscat, who resigned over the murder of a journalist. Robert Abela won the Labour Party leadership contest with 57.9% of the vote, reports say. His predecessor Mr Muscat said he would quit last month over the scandal surrounding the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Financial Times Malta’s new prime minister Robert Abela will be sworn in on Monday after the deepening scandal of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder forced a change in the country’s political leadership.  Mr Abela, a backbench member of parliament, won election to lead the ruling Labour party in a vote on Saturday. The contest was triggered last month after prime minister Joseph Muscat bowed to public pressure to resign.  Mr Muscat’s position became untenable after investigators into the killing of Caruana Galizia questioned one of his most senior officials and members of his government.  Mr Abela entered the leadership race as a long-shot candidate, but steadily built support during the campaign, securing 57.9 per cent support in Saturday’s vote. The son of a former Maltese president, Mr Abela campaigned on a platform of social reforms that appealed to party members. His rival was the country’s current deputy prime minister, Chris Fearne. The 42-year-old, who has never held ministerial office, will immediately face calls from the EU to make sure Caruana Galizia’s killers are brought to justice, and that reforms are carried out to fight corruption, protect the independence of the judiciary and end money laundering.

The Guardian  – Outsider Robert Abela is set to become Malta’s new prime minister after the downfall of previous leader Joseph Muscat over the investigation into the murder of an investigative journalist. Abela, who is seen as representing continuity, was elected leader of the Labour party on Sunday, meaning he automatically takes the role of prime minister. In the election run-up Abela did not criticise Muscat, who had announced in December he would quit following widespread anger over his perceived efforts to protect friends and allies from a probe into the 2017 car bombing murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Al JazeeraRobert Abela will be Malta’s next prime minister after being elected as the new leader of the governing Labour Party. He will replace Joseph Muscat, whose once-spotless career was brought down by a scandal surrounding the murder of a journalist.

France 24Outsider Robert Abela is set to become Malta’s new premier on Sunday after Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s downfall over the murder of an investigative journalist. Abela, who is seen as representing continuity, was elected leader of the Labour Party, meaning he automatically takes the role of prime minister. In the election run-up, Abela did not criticise Muscat, who announced in December he would quit following widespread anger over his perceived efforts to protect friends and allies from a probe into the 2017 slaying of blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia.

El Pais – El abogado Robert Abela fue elegido la pasada madrugada nuevo líder del Partido Laborista de Malta y, por tanto, será el primer ministro del país tras sustituir a Joseph Muscat, quien dimitió por los nexos de uno de sus colaboradores en el asesinato de la periodista Daphne Caruana Galizia. Abela se impuso al que parecía el favorito Chris Fearne con el 57,9% de los votos de los afiliados al partido. En total votaron el 92,5% de los afiliados y el ganador obtuvo 9.342 votos respecto a los 6.798 de su adversario.

New York Times  – In Malta, Son of Ex-President Is Chosen as Prime Minister. Robert Abela will replace Joseph Muscat, who is stepping down as close associates of his came under scrutiny after the killing of a journalist. Mr. Abela, before being chosen as Labour’s new leader, said he would work to restore the country’s reputation for rule of law. He avoided interviews with the independent news media during the campaign, however.

DWRobert Abela won a Labour Party leadership contest in Malta early on Sunday, meaning he will be the European Union country’s next prime minister. A lawyer, Abela beat out Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne for leadership of the Labour Party. He will be sworn in on Monday. Considered an outsider who has only been a member of parliament since 2017, Abela had sided with critics of the investigation into Caruana Galizia’s murder. The 42-year-old is the son of former Maltese President George Abela. He has promised to engage citizens and focus on social issues, such as affordable housing.

Le Monde – Un avocat d’affaires de 42 ans, Robert Abela, incarnant la continuité, va succéder au premier ministre maltais Joseph Muscat, poussé vers la sortie par l’enquête sur le meurtre de la journaliste d’investigation Daphne Caruana Galizia. L’annonce faite dans la nuit de samedi 11 à dimanche 12 janvier par le Parti travailliste va sans doute décevoir les mouvements civiques qui réclament depuis des mois un changement de cap pour un pays tombé, selon eux, « aux mains de groupes criminels ».

AP – A first-term lawmaker whose father was Malta’s president has been chosen to be the country’s prime minister. The count on Sunday showed Robert Abela received nearly 58% of votes cast by members of the governing Labour Party eligible to choose the new leader. Abela, 42, will replace Joseph Muscat, who is stepping down midway through his second term as prime minister amid demands for accountability over the 2017 murder of an anti-corruption journalist. Muscat tweeted his congratulations, saying, “Proud to be handing over to him #Malta PM office on Monday,” when Abela will be sworn in.

Reuters – Political newcomer Robert Abela was set to become Malta‘s new prime minister having been elected leader of the ruling Labour Party following a vote on Saturday. Joseph Muscat is stepping down as leader and prime minister amid claims that he protected associates who had links to people allegedly involved in the 2017 murder of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. “I am humbled” he told supporters. “I thank my friend Chris (Fearne) and look forward to working together for the good of the party and the country. There is only one winner today, the Labour Party.”

Abela has said he will place increased government focus on social issues and affordable housing. He also promised to give free medicines to all pensioners within five years. During the campaign, however, he avoided interviews with the independent press. His father, George Abela, was deputy leader of the Labour Party until 1998 and had contested the party leadership election which saw Muscat become party leader in 2008. He later served as president of Malta. Outsider Robert Abela is set to become Malta’s new premier on Sunday after Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s downfall over the murder of an investigative journalist.

Ansa – L’avvocato 42enne Robert Abela è stato eletto leader del Partito laburista maltese, diventando automaticamente anche primo ministro dopo le dimissioni di Joseph Muscat, accusato di interferenze nelle indagini sull’omicidio della giornalista investigativa Daphne Caruana Galizia. Figlio dell’ex presidente George e visto come outsider incarnazione della continuità col suo predecessore, Abela è stato scelto dalla maggioranza dei 17.500 elettori laburisti – che hanno votato per la prima volta direttamente il loro leader – per la sua promessa di continuare “con le ricette vincenti” di Muscat. E’ stato preferito al chirurgo 52enne Chris Fearne, vicepremier uscente. Abela subentra per soli due anni e mezzo in carica, fino al settembre 2022.

The Standard – Outsider Robert Abela is set to become Malta’s new premier on Sunday after Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s downfall over the murder of an investigative journalist. Abela, who is seen as representing continuity, was elected leader of the Labour Party, meaning he automatically takes the role of prime minister.In the election run-up, Abela did not criticise Muscat, who announced in December he would quit following widespread anger over his perceived efforts to protect friends and allies from a probe into the 2017 slaying of blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia.Muscat, 45, was set to resign Sunday.Prior to the election result, activist groups cast doubt on whether his successor would bring about real change in the Mediterranean country, which they say has been taken over by “criminals”.

TgCom  – L’avvocato 42enne Robert Abela è stato eletto leader del Partito laburista maltese diventando automaticamente anche primo ministro, dopo le dimissioni di Joseph Muscat accusato di interferenze nelle indagini sull’omicidio della giornalista Daphne Caruana Galizia. Abela è stato scelto dalla maggioranza dei 17.500 elettori laburisti per la sua promessa di continuare “con le ricette vincenti” di Muscat.

Anadolu – Robert Abela is set to become Malta’s new prime minister after being elected Labour Party Leader. 

The election came after Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was forced to resign last month following widespread pressure over the government’s handling of a probe into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia who was killed in a car bombing in October 2017.

Abela received 57.9% of the vote where turnout was 92.5 %.

“There is the only winner today; it is the Labour Party. We now need to work harder to unite the country,” said Abela after the victory,

Muscat congratulated Abela on Twitter. “Congratulations @robertabela_mt on being elected @PL_Malta leader. Proud to be handing over to him #Malta PM office on Monday,” he said.

 

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