The Malta Independent 10 December 2018, Monday

Watch: Simon Busuttil resigns along with deputy leaders, party administration

Monday, 5 June 2017, 14:07 Last update: about 3 years ago

Nationalist Party Leader Simon Busuttil has announced that he will be stepping down after the crushing electoral defeat and that a process to appoint a successor will begin in the coming days.

With him, the whole party administration will also resign, including both deputy leaders Beppe Fenech Adami and Mario de Marco. The party administration also includes Anne Fenech, president of the executive committee, Karol Aquilina president of the administrative council; Rosette Thake as secretary general; Paula Mifsud Bonnici as president of the PN general council.

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Addressing a press conference this afternoon, Dr Busuttil reiterated that Malta’s political system needs to be cleaned up. He began by speaking on the PN’s electoral campaign, saying this was built on the strong values of honesty and integrity. “My message to all those who voted for us is to keep their dignity and to hold on to what they believe in, which remains valid.”

“People believed in us, in the flame that we lit. Even though you are in minority you remain an important minority and we will be there for you.”

Simon Busuttil resignation from The Malta Independent on Vimeo.

Dr Busuttil said the party must first take stock of the result. “I take full responsibility for the result and accept that the PN needs a new leader for the coming phase. The process for the party to appoint a new leadership will start immediately.”

Dr Busuttil said his two deputies had also chosen to shoulder the responsibility and will not be seeking re-election to the posts they currently occupy. The PN’s Executive Committee will approve the dates for the election later on this week. “This will be a transparent and open process,” Dr Busuttil pledged.

“We will remain in place until the process is finished so that there will not be a vacuum in the party’s leadership.” He also said he will remain Opposition Leader until the new PN leader assumes the role.

“Despite the result I am proud to leave behind an organised party, one that put up a good fight.” He also said the PN did had not incurred one single euro of debt during the campaign.

“It was a privilege for me to lead this glorious party. I gave all my energy and determination and there was nothing I could have done more for the party.” Dr Busuttil thanked his family for supporting him throughout these past four years, adding that his only consolation was that he would be spending more time with them.

Taking questions, Dr Busuttil said he had been convinced that the result would be different – that people would not allow the government to keep acting as it is now. “But the people decided and we bow our heads down to the wishes of the electorate. There is nothing to discuss. I did what I did because I love this party and my country.”

He noted that there were still pending inquiries and hoped there would be no attempts to stop the courts from doing their works. “The fact that Joseph Muscat won the election does not mean that what happened has now been erased. It does not mean that the crimes committed have been forgotten. I hope Muscat at least realises that politics have to be cleaned up.”

Replying to questions by The Malta Independent, Dr Busuttil said surveys had shown a different picture but what mattered now was the result, not opinion polls. He did not reply to a question about whether he felt he was a liability to the party, having led the PN to this crushing defeat and having also been deputy leader in 2013, when Labour won its first landslide victory. 

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