The Malta Independent 20 November 2018, Tuesday

Busuttil insists that PN/PD coalition still under discussion

Rachel Attard Tuesday, 11 April 2017, 09:35 Last update: about 3 years ago

Despite the announcement that Partit Demokratiku candidates will be contesting under the PN banner, which many took as meaning  that an agreement has been reached between the two parties, PN Leader Simon Busuttil has insisted that talks are still ongoing.

The talks, which started months ago, are now “in their final stages,” Dr Busuttil told The Malta Independent yesterday.

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Last Friday PD leader Dr Marlene Farrugia announced on her Facebook page that she will be contesting under the PN banner in the next general election. Last September The Malta Independent had reported that Dr Busuttil and Dr Farrugia started discussing the formation of a coalition.

Last Sunday during the PN political activity in Senglea, Dr Farrugia attended for the first time after the announcement of the coalition; however Dr Busuttil did not make any reference to the coalition talks during his speech.

Dr Farrugia told this newsroom that the other PD candidates will also be contesting on the PN ticket. She explained that PD candidates will have something to distinguish them from PN candidates on the voting document, possibly an orange background, or something similar. "This will help those people who want to vote PD to know who they are voting for.” However when Dr Busuttil was asked to confirm this he said that the issue “is one of the subjects which are still being discussed.”

Both Dr Busuttil and Dr Farrugia confirmed that an official agreement has not yet been signed between them and it will happen in the coming days.

Dr Farrugia is considering contesting on the second and fifth districts. Yesterday PN candidate Herman Schiavone, who will be contesting on the fifth district, welcomed Marlene Farrugia to the PN. He said that “we are a united team and with Marlene as one of us we will get stronger, especially in a district which Joseph Muscat has abandoned.”

A nationalist MP who preferred to remain anonymous told this newsroom that he was shocked to learn the news. “We speak against populism and then make a populist move,” the MP said.

In the meantime sections of the media have alleged that a number of nationalists MPs only learned about the coalition agreement through the media. Neither the PN MPs nor the committee that vets candidates were not informed about the latest developments with regard to the coalition.

Dr Farrugia resigned from the Labour Party November 2015 and a year later she was appointed leader of the PD. She has taken part in various Nationalist Party protests, including the rally against the development on ODZ land in Marsascala for the building of the American University of Malta.

 

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