The Malta Independent 12 July 2020, Sunday

PN leader not on executive committee agenda, but election of secretary general is

Kevin Schembri Orland Monday, 10 February 2020, 10:34 Last update: about 6 months ago

The Nationalist Party executive committee's agenda for its meeting on Tuesday does not include a discussion on the party leader, president Alex Perici Calascione told The Malta Independent, however said that it could be brought up during the meeting regardless.

Adrian Delia has faced fresh calls for his resignation, after a survey showed that he had an abysmal trust rating. Since then, several high up party officials have resigned, including Clyde Puli from the post of Secretary General, and Robert Arrigo from the post of PN Deputy Leader (who will be staying on till March)


Veteran politician Louis Galea, who is heading the reform within the PN, had last week written to PN Leader Adrian Delia, Galea had said that Galea said that he will be requesting the president of the Executive Committee, Alex Perici Calascione, to take all necessary steps for a new leadership team to be chosen for the party. Perici Calascione has met that request and called a meeting of the party's Executive Committee.

Contacted by this newsroom, The Executive Committee President Perici Calascione was asked about the agenda for the meeting that is set to take place on Tuesday at 6pm.

"There are some positions in the party that the statute reserves for the executive committee to elect, and these are the secretary general, the president of the executive (held by Perici Calascione), President of the Administrative Council (held by Carm Mifsud Bonnici), Treasurer (currently being handled by Robert Arrigo) and International Secretary (currently occupied by Roselyn Borg Knight)."

"Once appointed these are positions that are held for two years, and are then up for election. These two years had expired last November," he explained.

"Louis Galea, having been charged a few months before the expiration to tackle the party reforms had said at the time that these internal elections should not be held then as they would distract from continuing on the reform. So the executive committee had decided to extend the posts up until March at the latest."

"Louis Galea sent a letter last Thursday to Delia saying that in the circumstances he believed it best to do them now, and at the same time give a sign to any new blood if they want to contest. He advised Adrian, but is obviously a request that I had to accept and I did. I advised Delia that my intention was to accept and I issued the notices on Sunday."

He explained that Tuesday is not the day when the elections will be held, "as there is a process where one needs to appoint an electoral commission and issue a call for those interested to submit their nominations, which I wish to do in the shortest time possible."

This is the main item on the agenda on Tuesday. Another item is that in order not to leave the post of General Council President vacant (given Kristy Debono's recent resignation), there is a proposal that the next in line - Censu Galea who had contested that post but lost - take over in order not to leave it vacant until whenever the General Council brings up that post for re-election, he said.

"Unless something unplanned happens, the committee is not expected to discuss the party leadership in the sense of what is happening at the moment in the Parliamentary Group. It could be brought up as a matter arising, but it is not on the agenda. The agenda is set to tackle what the Statute obliges the Executive Committee to tackle."

He explained that the posts of leader and the deputy leaders are the remit of the general council first and of the PN paid members second.

Asked if there will be a discussion on Robert Arrigo's post, given his announced resignation, he said no as it is not the remit of the general council, "I for one, personally, would greatly wish for Robert to reconsider and stay on. This is my personal wish and I know it is shared by a number of people," he said, adding that post "is not within our remit and has to go back to the general council."

Turning to the Electoral Commission that the Committee will appoint, he said that it is always appointed in the executive. As for the date of the actual election to take place, he said he hopes it will be set for one or two weeks' time.

"Then the election will be held by the Executive, made up of all members of parliament, but only 13 have a vote, 16 people elected directly by the sectional committees, three members from each division (like the PN's youth arm, Pensioners' arm etc.)  and the district representatives."

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