The Malta Independent 22 July 2019, Monday

Updated (3): PN executive president Mark A Sammut resigns, says party committing 'political suicide'

Saturday, 1 June 2019, 10:54 Last update: about 3 months ago

Mark Anthony Sammut has resigned his role as president of the Nationalist Party executive committee, telling the media after a meeting held today that the party had suffered a "disastrous result" and the only way for it to turn the corner is for political responsibility to be shouldered.

Addressing the media after the executive committee met to decide on the co-option of Jean Pierre Debono to replace David Stellini, who resigned his parliamentary seat, Sammut said that the arrived at his decision after reflecting on the results obtained by the party in the European Parliament and local council elections, as well as the situation in the PN.

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"The worst thing that we can do now is to refuse to face reality," he said. For the first time in the last 15 years, the PN did not manage to maintain its 40% core vote, and for the first time since 1951 its popular support fell to just 37% of the electorate. For the first time, he added, the gap between the two parties was 16% in the EP election, which grew to 18% in the local council elections.

It is an insult to collectivbe intelligence to say that the party was expecting worse, and to be happy that the PN was, by far, the second biggest party. The results show that the party suffered a disastrous defeat, he said.

It is also an insult to say that the party just needs some fine-tuning and a change of marketing strategy, Sammut said.

It is also "political suicide" to blame the people who did not vote PN or did not vote at all, as this will lead to worse situations in the next election, he said.

It is clear that there is no confidence in the PN as it is today, he sais, adding that there is a fea that whoever will speak up to criticise the party is labelled as a traitor.

The only way out of this impasse is to move aside and give space to others who are willing to come forward and help, bringing about more unity in the party, he said.

Although he was not part of the campaign team, he said he was resigning and did not change his mind even after he was given a unanimous vote of confidence.

***

Before the meeting, Delia told the media that he will not take the advice from former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, who suggested  this week that he (Delia) should submit himself to an internal confidence vote.

Delia said his position is still tenable in spite of two electoral defeats this week.

“That decision is not mine. The party structure has various organs that are able to call a vote of no confidence or start a discussion if they want. It’s a democratic party,” he said. 

 

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