The Malta Independent 25 February 2020, Tuesday

Updated: PN Secretary General Clyde Puli resigns, says time being wasted on 'firefighting'

Friday, 7 February 2020, 16:36 Last update: about 18 days ago

PN Secretary General Clyde Puli has resigned from his post.

The Party Leadership has been under immense pressure since surveys showed that the party did not gain any ground from the political turmoil last December. Puli's is the third major resignation from the party leadership, following those of PN Deputy Leader Robert Arrigo and PN General Council President Kristy Debono.

In a letter to PN Leader Adrian Delia, Puli said he was terminating the extension of this term, which he had accepted out of a sense of duty when it expired in November 2019. The extension was due to expire in March, but he said he feels that the time has come for him to focus more on his electoral district. 

“As I have discussed with you over the past months, I have expressed my doubts as to how I can function well in my role, given the situation that the party I love finds itself in,” he told Delia. 

He said that, despite being encouraged by Delia to stay, he was resigning out of a “great sense of loyalty and duty to the party, its members and its leadership.”

“My resignation gives you, and the party, the freedom to choose the ideal person to lead the party alongside you. I have never been stuck to the seat of power because I am in politics to serve.”

Puli said it was an honour for him to work with the party leadership to get the party out of the situation it found itself in 2017. Back then, few had come forward to serve, but many party supporters, disillusioned by political events, found in Delia new hope and something new that could bring the party close to the people again, Puli wrote. 

“I did not expect help, but neither did I expect to be hindered at every step, being kicked in the heel so that I would be accused of not running fast enough. The sense of entitlement held by some, and the philosophy of not being a team player were never part of my vocabulary.”

Puli said the party faces several problems and it is a shame that the 2013 electoral defeat report has been left to gather dust, while no such report was drawn up after the 2017 election.

The party’s debts, running into the millions, and the accumulating interests, are dragging the party down, he said.

Puli said the result of the democratic election that had elected Delia as party leader was never accepted by certain MPs and others, “despite the battles this party has fought, under your leadership, for good governance, the rule of law and against the injustices suffered by people.”

The “select leakages” from Parliamentary Group meetings, he said, had hindered the “serenity” required for a for a genuine discussion in the best interests of the party.

The time wasted on "firefighting," he said, eats away time that should be used to strategise on how to build a new political foundation. "These actions, together with the distortion of facts and malicious lies, have only resulted in the breakup of this great party."

Puli said he has always served with loyalty, without looking at his personal interests. "I have behaved as such under different leaderships, without distinction, not because I have always agreed with the decisions taken, but because I have always acted out of the loyalty needed for a group to function."

"I have always preached and practiced unity and I still believe that the party cannot move forward without unity. While it is true that unity alone does not win elections, without it you can only lose. The challenges we face will not go away with a change in statute or party name, they can only be solved through a great deal of goodwill."

Puli said he still believes that the party has a "glorious future" and is the only real alternative to the Labour government. "The solutions for the PN are found within."

Concluding, Puli pledged his continued loyalty towards the party and its members and said he will continue working in the sixth electoral district. 

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