Old party welcomes new party

Joe Garcia
Old party welcomes new party

And finally, the ‘Together Gibraltar’ group have unveiled their faces as a political party. There were twelve around a table when the cameras started to click yesterday, eight men and four women including leader Marlene Hassan Nahon. 

They have been together for some time now and many had wondered if they would take the plunge into politics. I recall a televised discussion programme sometime ago discussing the state of local politics when I said: Do not under-estimate Marlene Hassan Nahon.

Then, she seemed to be alone and lonely, having left the GSD, but the point was made that at the last election she had, in fact, come second in the GSD slate.

Now, she is Number One in what she sees as an exciting alternative in the political spectrum. A new party, with new ideas and full of conviction and vision for the future.

These are the names in Together Gibraltar: Marlene Hassan Nahon, Kaamlesh Khubchand, Michelle Trinidad, Craig Sacarello, Neil Santini, Daniel Ghio, Nabila Gomez, Tamsin Suarez, Ivan Hernandez, Joseph Capurro, Jonathan Santos and Benjy Cuby.

The GSLP, who describe themselves as the longest established party in Gibraltar, lost no time in welcoming the new party.

Pepe Baldachino is the GSLP chairman. He said: “We welcome Marlene Hassan Nahon and her group to the political debate. They will find us happy to engage in debating different ideas whilst always respecting each other personally.”

The GSLP was a long-time adversary of her late father, the legendary Sir Joshua Hassan.

GSLP leader Fabian Picardo was also in welcoming mood yesterday, welcoming the new party to ‘the political fray in our small nation.’

He said: ‘I look forward to the discussion of ideas and concepts they may put forward for Gibraltar’s future.’

And added hurriedly: ‘ Whilst considering that Gibraltar does not need any alternative to the GSLP/Liberals at this time in our history, we will of course engage positively with them in debating their policies.’

He also welcomed the fact that the launch of the party makes Marlene Hassan Nahon the first woman in Gibraltar to lead a party in Gibraltar’s history.

Indeed, with a General Election due next year, the launch of the party will make that election even more interesting for voters than a two horse race, as Mr Picardo put it.

For how long will Gibraltar be together as politics begins to hot up? The current opposition, her old party, will now have to bring out its big guns, not only to try and keep the GSLP/Liberals at bay, but to ensure that the new party does not make inroads into their territory which appears to be more vulnerable than the political alliance in power.