Independent MP Marlene Hassan Nahon yesterday launched her new political movement ‘Together Gibraltar’, with the promise to “revolutionise” the way politics is done in Gibraltar.
Together Gibraltar is not a political party, Mrs Hassan Nahon was keen to stress, as she launched the group from its new Main Street headquarters to reporters and a huddle of existing members.
It will provide a mechanism for members of the community to become politically active in an environment that is “free from the partisan pressures”, she said.
Its only agenda is the good of Gibraltar and the unity of its people, she added.
It will, however, lobby for the political issues it considers important, the “most crucial” of which being transparency.
In respect of the future of the movement, Mrs Hassan Nahon was keen to set her new movement apart from the current party political set-up in Gibraltar.
“It’s not up to me to anticipate what will happen with this movement,” she said.
“It is not a party today but if its members consider that its agenda can be best served by transitioning into a party, this transition will be done transparently and democratically.”
“I will be involved in whatever way is deemed most useful,” she added.
Pressed by reporters as to where she wants Together Gibraltar to be after the next election without a defined plan to stay in Parliament, she explained that her aim is to bring people closer to the ‘political nucleus’.
“It is outside the usual party system but the whole point is that the agenda is not mine, I want to seek what people are thinking, what people are needing, what people are wanting and entice people, rather than myself put forward a political agenda for the future,” she said.
“Where that will take us, I don’t know. If in time the membership decides that they want to launch a party or a collective going forward to the next election, that will be a matter for the time when it comes.”
The project represents a movement “for the people by the people” and its values and principles are intended to reflect the wills and desires of its membership alongside a set of core values such as unity, participation, democracy and transparency.
Mrs Hassan Nahon further explained that she will use her position as an MP to take the best initiatives that emerge from the group to the Gibraltar Parliament for discussion.
“Because first and foremost I am an Independent MP,” she said, as she set out her role within the movement, adding that she will continue to work for all her constituents whether they become members of Together Gibraltar or not.
The movement will not run a “top-to-bottom influence” nor will Mrs Hassan Nahon impose an agenda on members, rather providing her opinion and engagement when necessary.
“I have not founded this movement for my own personal benefit,” she said, “This is not about me, this is about all of us.”
“I have done this, as has been my ethos throughout my career as a politician, to better understand and be close to the people I represent.”
Mrs Hassan Nahon explained that the movement aims provide better mechanisms of representation to allow for more active participation and ‘combat disenfranchisement’.
“Together Gibraltar is a colourful breath of fresh air in a political environment dominated by a grey barristocracy,” she said.
Its first meeting will be held on November 6 at the Charles Hunt room at the John Mackintosh Hall to discuss environmental issues.