Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando has asked the PN executive to expel Richard Cachia Caruana from the party.
The MP whose vote for the Opposition's motion resulted in the resignation of Malta's permanent representative to the EU, has now asked the Nationalist party's executive to expel Richard Cachia Caruana from the party.
Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando issued a statement Tuesday morning asked the PN to expel one its chief party strategists, to expel Cachia Caruana for colluding with high-ranking members of the Labour administration led by former Labour prime minister Alfred Sant "between 1996 and 1998 in an attempt to further his personal interests whilst putting his colleagues in the Nationalist administration led by Dr Eddie Fenech Adami between 1987 and 1996 in a bad light."
Pullicino Orlando also listed two other reasons, alleging that Cachia Caruana colluded with high-ranking officials "representing foreign states in a clear attempt at bypassing the Nationalist Party parliamentary group and the Maltese Parliament" - ostensibly referring to his role in reactivating Partnership for Peace without having to secure the House's approval, which formed the basis of the Opposition motion that proved successful in securing his resignation as EU ambassador.
The other reason he listed alleged that Cachia Caruana had "fomented the unrest which has led to the difficulties being faced by our leader, Dr Lawrence Gonzi, both within our party and in Parliament."
Pullicino Orlando has asked the PN executive to place this "matter of great importance" on the agenda of the forthcoming meeting of the executive committee. "I will be in a position to amplify on this issue during this meeting, during which I plan on presenting irrefutable evidence to support the abovementioned three points."
On Sunday, Cachia Caruana delivered a scathing verdict of Pullicino Orlando's vote to support the Opposition motion that led to his resignation, describing the Nationalist MP as a "Sicilian... the sort you would [not] want to do business with."
Cachia Caruana said Pullicino Orlando had used his parliamentary seat to exact a personal revenge on him, and not because of his role in reactivating Malta's participation in Partnership for Peace.
Cachia Caruana has insisted that his role in fomenting an underhand and unofficial media campaign to prompt Pullicino Orlando to resign his parliamentary seat after the 2008 Mistra scandal that nearly cost the Nationalists their re-election, was "absolutely false".
Pullicino Orlando denied claims that his motives were inspired by revenge, but he was equally clear in saying that Cachia Caruana's role in coaching him throughout the 2008 electoral campaign, and his alleged attempt to make him his resign his seat afterwards, "was a direct attack on democracy" - and equated this style of operation with Cachia Caruana's role in arguing for the reactivation of PfP without having to seek the House's approval. "What I can never accept is the vile way he tried to make me resign my seat," Pullicino Orlando said on Dissett.
"It was an attack on democracy. Cachia Caruana's plan was to use me to win the PN's election in 2008, coaching me every step of the way in confronting Alfred Sant who made vile and incorrect accusations against me. So successful was this plan, that I became too popular [Pullicino Orlando was elected on both constituencies despite the suspicions levied against him by Sant]...
"The next day the PN won, they started spreading the word that I had lied... this was an attack on democracy, which shows Cachia Caruana's disrespect having instigated this attack."