The Malta Independent 15 August 2020, Saturday

'Things should have been solved in-house' – Stephen Spiteri

Karl Azzopardi Monday, 13 July 2020, 18:44 Last update: about 2 months ago

Rebel PN MP Stephen Spiteri told this newsroom that he did not expect things to escalate to a presidential level as he always thought that the PN's leadership debate should have been tackled within the party alone. He said that this is why he told the President he abstained from telling the President to remove Delia when he had actually voted against Opposition Leader Delia in a vote with his peers.

The list of the MPs (and two MEPs) who voted against Opposition Leader Adrian Delia in a confidence vote on Tuesday was revealed earlier this week. Among them are numerous MPs who had been avid supporters of Delia from the beginning but have since had a change of heart, including Spokesperson for Health Stephen Spiteri.

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However, on Monday, Spiteri told ONE News he abstained when he was asked by the President on his position regarding Adrian Delia.

Speaking to The Malta Independent he delineated the real reason behind his decision to tell the President that he abstained.

He explained that he voted against the political model of Delia within the parliamentary group because party is heading downhill and the Opposition is not working.

"I took the vote to give a warning sign; changes should be done, it should not be status quo all the way," he said, emphasising that he wanted to deliver a strong message. "This came at a political price as my district is pro-Delia but I wanted to stand by my beliefs this time. I do not want to see the party sink, but start moving forward."

Spiteri said he was surprised that the issue escalated to a presidential level which caused a conflict within him.

"I did not expect that we would get to this point, things should have been solved in-house not with the president. So, when I had my meeting with the President I felt that the seat did not belong to me and that I should represent the people who voted for me who have various beliefs which I cannot simply shut out," he explained. "I cannot just appoint the person that I want but had to consider what they wanted too."

Thus, he told the president that he abstained because he wanted to stick to his belief that things should have been tackled in house at a party level.

Having said that, he reiterated that Delia's political model is not returning the investment there should be in the PN and Opposition - "Delia knows that he does not have the required manpower to find a way forward, as I have already told him, and no one can deny this."

Asked for his opinion on the fact that the President has decided to keep Delia, he said that "we have to abide by the President's decision seeing that he holds the highest authority of the Republic. We have to have rules and orders, we cannot always be outlaws."

 


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