The Malta Independent 25 February 2020, Tuesday

Businessman Ivan Bartolo touted for top PN post

Thursday, 13 February 2020, 09:11 Last update: about 12 days ago

Former PN candidate and businessman Ivan Bartolo (not the MP) is being touted as a possible candidate for a top post after the Louis Galea reforms conclude, internal party sources told The Malta Independent.

Bartolo is no friend of Delia and had been at the forefront of a group of people calling for Adrian Delia’s resignation last July, when the party was facing a similar crisis.

He had even urged General Council members to vote against Delia in a confidence vote.

Delia has faced a resurgence of calls to resign after a survey found that he had an abysmal trust rating, despite the political turmoil that hit the country last December.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, a meeting of the PN’s Executive committee came to a close. Francis Zammit Dimech was appointed as an interim Secretary General for the party, after Clyde Puli resigned from the post.

Among the proposed reforms being piloted by Louis Galea, is one to potentially change the post of Secretary General, and even consider changing it into the role of a CEO, this newsroom is informed.

Indeed, PN Leader Adrian Delia, had said that in the reform, anything can happen from the abolition of the post of Secretary General to one that is different, to ideas whether it should be an MP to occupy it or not.

Sources said that Bartolo is being pushed to contest the possible CEO or equivalent post that could be established.

Given that key members of Delia’s team have stepped aside – Robert Arrigo from the post of Deputy Leader (although he will be staying on until the end of March), Clyde Puli as Secretary General and Kristy Debono as the President of the PN’s General Council - it could very well be that the embattled Delia will see himself surrounded by his adversaries.

Francis Zammit Dimech, in taking over the post of Secretary General in the interim, will need to keep the party together until the reform concludes.

Internal party sources said that the banks are uneasy with the recent spate of resignations and the PN’s outlook, and given the party’s financial situation, this could be worrisome.

The sources explained that Delia told members of the executive during the meeting to keep the financial situation in mind before rushing to change officials. Delia told the members that Robert Arrigo should stay in his post of Treasurer for as long as possible, and the executive members kept Arrigo as acting Treasurer, the sources added.

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