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MALTATODAY 19 September 2021

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6 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 19 SEPTEMBER 2021 NEWS We are recruiting! Senior Manager (full-time) Language Development and Specific Learning Difficulties (Jobsplus permit 599/2021) For more information on the role, eligibility criteria, and how to apply visit, send an email to or call on 2598 3325. Application deadline - Wednesday 29th September 2021 at noon. BERNARD Grech will be ad- dressing Nationalist supporters at the Granaries in Floriana on Monday in his first mass event since becoming leader last year. He will be using the traditional Independence eve gathering to rally for change within the party and the country. But Grech will have to share his moment of glory on 20 Sep- tember with that of his political nemesis Robert Abela. Just a few kilometres away un- derneath the MFCC tent in Ta' Qali, the Prime Minister will be addressing a rally for Labour supporters. The mass gather- ing will close a four-day general conference in which the Labour Party will discuss policy. Both mass events, although conditioned by COVID-19 protocols, which still limit the amount of people that can gath- er in one place, will mark the start of a new political season. For political parties with mass appeal this is more than wel- come after more than a year of arid political activity due to the pandemic. But there is more at stake here than simply reconnecting with the grassroots. The two major parties are now gearing up for the final lap of the current leg- islature, even though it remains unclear how long the sprint to the election will be. The latest the general election can be held is September 2022 but the more plausible period will be between March and May next year. A longish election season is the more likely scenario. The election tease The PN has been hammering home its conviction that a gen- eral election will be held in No- vember. The party organ Il-Mu- ment has been harping with certainty that Abela will call an election within the next couple of months. At one point, before Abela had announced that the budget will be held on 11 October, the PN newspaper even floated two possible dates for the election. Despite a general election by the end of this year looking un- likely, given the timings tied to the approval of the budget and closeness to the Christmas peri- od, Abela has allowed the suspi- cion to linger. When asked point blank a couple of weeks ago, the Prime Minister said he wanted to oversee the implementation of Budget 2022, a sure sign the election will be held next year. But he also refused to outright rule out an election this year and Monday's rally just adds to the suspicion. Still, Abela may want to show that a Labour government can go the full term – the 1996 ad- Political rallies kick off longish election season A new political season kicks off in earnest on 20 September with two mass activities by the major political parties. Kurt Sansone tries to guess what Robert Abela and Bernard Grech will say Bernard Grech has had a busy summer (top); both he and Robert Abela will use Monday's events to drum up support and lay out their visions for the future. But they will not get into much detail bar a hint or two to make the headlines. They will tell different stories but both will focus part of their speeches to address internal party issues

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