Bossano wants to stand for election - again
by our Political correspondent
In the wake of the GSLP meeting this week, Joe Bossano's strategy for his political future has started to emerge. Put succinctly, it means that he will cease being party leader but he will want to be an elected member of Parliament.
It was in the year 2000 when he made it clear that he would not be seeking re-election as leader in 12 years' time, and this comes to fruition at the next general election.
By then he will have been a parliamentarian for a record period of time, having first been elected in 1972.
He has been the only leader of the GSLP since the party's birth, so it may be a difficult task for him to accustom himself to being anything but the leader.
But already there are rumblings about leadership stakes, with Fabian Picardo and Gilbert Licudi expected to be in the running.
Already, Bossano appears to be more behind the scenes than at any time in his long career. It is as if he is allowing others to come forward and show their mettle.
A drawback for Picardo, as he himself admits, is that he is devoting too much time to his legal career at the expense of his political career. But he cannot be a prospective leader in absence, as he globe-trots the world as a lawyer.
To win an election he calls on others for hard work, but others might soon break out into the open and ask him: How about you?
Says Picardo: I will be putting my legal work aside more and more in the run up to the election.
His political intentions have always been known in political circles and he has now made them public.
The same cannot be said of Licudi. But he is generally expected to stand for a leadership contest.
At the time of the last general election Bossano again made it known that it would be his last election as GSLP leader. On that election night, GSD leader Peter Caruana made noises about he, too, thinking of retirement, but later he has tried to deny any such intentions.
More a football fan than Bossano, Caruana must recall what happened to Alex Ferguson at Manchester United when he announced in advance that he was thinking of retiring as manager: The players started to do things their way.
Of late, Caruana has also uttered words to the effect that he would retire when there is someone capable of taking the party forward. It was as if he thought there was no one about at present who could take over.
If Bossano had said he was retiring completely from politics that could have propelled Caruana to think about it, too.
NEW POLITICAL GAME
But a new political game has emerged, now that Bossano has come up with the idea of leaving the leadership but standing again for parliament as an ordinary member of the GSLP.
Of course, a political giant like Bossano can never be an 'ordinary' member of the GSLP. He has been a leader for too long to find it comfortable to work under a leader himself.
But it has been mooted in political circles for quite some time that Bossano could be well placed to be the Opposition's economics minister, if the Alliance were to win the next election. It is a job he would like!
There are those who ask what would happen if Bossano obtains more votes at a general election than a new leader. That is of no consequence in that more votes at a general election does not decide who is the GSLP leader.
In fact, Bossano might want his extra votes to spread down the list of candidates, as it is by bolstering the bottom candidates that they could get elected. He knows full well that it is the weaker candidates who obviously let a party down.
So, Bossano's decision to stand down as leader and seek re-election as an 'ordinary' member will cause repercussions not only in the GSLP but also in other parties, for one reason or another.