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Choosing new PN leader wisely

No one has as yet come forward to say they would be willing to give up their seat if so-and-so is elected

18 August 2017, 8:18am
In view of the upcoming leadership elections, I find it imperative to speak up on behalf of many of us who have no vote in the PN structures. Although as a general rule, the leaders elected over the past decades have never gone against the majority’s wishes, I suspect that a certain level of euphoria and ill-guided decision-making will cloud the judgement of many this time around.

With all due respect to Frank Portelli, this contest should see Chris Said and Adrian Delia pitted against each other in the final round, although Alex Perici Calascione should give the latter a run for his money on the podium. I believe that the desire for a “fresh face” and a “new way of doing politics” is in fact a good one – with the right candidate.

Delia promises a lot but has no beef to back it up with, no experience, no tangible proof that the next four years will be a success and nothing to indicate that Labour will be offered a challenge come election time.

I believe that Chris Said is an adventurous albeit safer option. He knows the party structures, knows what it takes to stop work in Opposition and has also won his contests, both on a personal level as well as on a national scale over the years. Said has also shown time and time again that he is not a conservative one-minded person, with the right respect to values that one would expect from a person is such a high position.

Let us choose wisely and realise the importance of such decisions. The pros and cons stacked up against each other should make this decision more straightforward than some have expected.

Lina Vella, Sliema

***

Although I am not a paid-up member of the PN, I have been following the leadership contest closely, probably for lack of anything of the slightest interest happening anywhere.

I think that all four contestants have a lot to offer the PN – although Frank Portelli seems to be too set in his old ways to see the need for change. But at the same time, I wonder if any of the four actually represent a viable change, or renewal, for the PN.

Chris Said and Alex Perici Calascione have to own up to being – in varying capacities – part of the team that registered two consecutive election landslides. Portelli too brings his own political baggage. Delia does not, but he too is not making the members’ decision any easier, especially by his refusal to publish a declaration of assets until elected leader.

That alone should be making the party’s tesserati raise an eyebrow, since it might imply he is not fully convinced of his decision to contest the election. To me, it’s as though he’s sitting on the fence, hedging his bets as to what the party members ‘need’ to choose him to replace Busuttil.

I have some other concerns. Others have already suggested that the members should have been given a chance to vote at all stages of the process. That argument has already been discussed ad nauseam.

But what I have yet to hear Delia, Perici Calascione and Portelli state officially is whose parliamentary seat they intend to take when elected, since they would also become leader of the opposition.

No one has as yet come forward to say they would be willing to give up their seat if so-and-so is elected. Once again, party members are being denied the full picture.

What if PN members who chose to elect Mr X to parliament do not approve of his giving up his seat for any of the candidates? Shouldn’t they have a say too?

Does it not make sense to have all candidates disclose all pertinent information, if the members are to make a truly informed decision on the 2nd and 16th September?

Or is it that they don’t because it would not be in their best interests?

Mario Sammut, Lija

DealToday
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