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PN fans ‘attempt to hijack’ university leaders’ debate

PN supporters attempting to flood leaders' debate and pin Joseph Muscat with their questions, texts leaked to student media group Insite show

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
15 May 2017, 7:30am
The leaders' debate will be held at the University on Wednesday
The leaders' debate will be held at the University on Wednesday
Nationalist Party supporters are attempting to flood the upcoming leaders’ debate at the University of Malta with as many PN fans as possible, student media organisation Insite has reported.

Insite published leaked screenshots of a Messenger group conversation, which show that “several people close to the PN” are inviting as many PN fans as possible to Wednesday’s debate, in an attempt to swing the audience towards the party.

Leaked comments include that the debate should be “hijacked like they [Labour] did in 2013” and that the students should ask trap questions to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

One comment reads: “Joseph can take the piss out of his supporters because they don’t understand him, but the University is a different story and we could easily trap him with our questions. Besides, practically all of Malta will be following this debate.”

Other comments estimated that there will be 600 PN supporters but only 200 PL supporters at the debate, while others called for “ten team leaders to keep control” and others warned that the chat must ultimately be deleted.

The traditional election leaders’ debate – between Joseph Muscat, PN leader Simon Busuttil, Partit Demokratiku leader Marlene Farrugia and Altertnattiva Demokratika chairperson Arnold Cassola – will be held on Wednesday at 1pm at the Sir Temi Zammit Hall.

It had originally been scheduled for Tuesday, but had to be moved back after Muscat said that he would be unable to attend on that date due to a clash with a state visit to Malta by the President of Ukraine.

The PD, whose candidates will be contesting the election under the PN ticket, said that Labour had attempted to ensure that only one of Busuttil and Farrugia attend the debate.