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MaltaToday online poll | 54% say Nationalist MPs shouldn’t be expelled from party
Yet 20% (461) said the three backbenchers should be expelled from the party for voting in favour of the Opposition motions
30 June 2012, 12:00am
The maverick MP Franco Debono, the divorce bill promoter Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando and fomer minister Jesmond Mugliett have been condemned by the PN executive committee for not having voted with the government in two crucial motions that saw the ousting of minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici and EU ambassador Richard Cachia Caruana.
A total of 2,279 individual votes were registered on our online poll which asked readers whether the three government MPs who voted for the Opposition motions be expelled.
A strong majority of 54% (1,222) have insisted that the three should remain, having been elected to their seats by the people and not by the party.
However they might also be swimming in dangerous waters as a considerable number - 20% (461) - agreed that Debono, Pullicino Orlando and Mugliett be expelled for having toed the party line and their actions might endanger future votes.
Following closely were a not inconsiderable 333 who while disagreeing with their expulsion, were still in favour of them not contesting the next general elections with the PN.
And acting as a reminder that there are the people out there who do not care about partisan politics, 263 (12%) said that the issue didn't affect them in the least...
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi hasn't ruled out the possibility that Pullicino Orlando, Mugliett or Debono could face some form of expulsion.
"It is an internal party matter for the PN to consider," Gonzi had told the press when asked whether it was being considered to have the three MPs expelled.
Gonzi has reiterated that MPs had to face any consequence to the decisions they take: "They should know that this was a very serious matter that has now brought obvious consequences, and these are the very consequences."
But while the Prime Minister said that the three could have easily defended themselves during the executive meeting, Debono has insisted that he couldn't be present because he was in parliament.
The maverick MP has gone as far as contesting the decision, requesting that the decision of the PN executive be revoked.
On the other hand, Pullicino Orlando - who will not contest the next elections - has been challenged by the PN to declare which MPs he was referring to in his parliamentary speech "who wanted to vote in favour" of the resignation of Richard Cachia Caruana.
Pullicino Orlando however insisted that he would not divulge their names.
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