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Businessman to make outsider’s bid for Nationalist Party leadership

Raymond Bugeja says he is actively seeking signatures to second his candidature for the PN leadership.

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
27 March 2013, 12:00am
Raymond Bugeja
Raymond Bugeja


61-year-old businessman Raymond Bugeja is seeking 10 important signatures: Nationalist Party councillors who will second his nomination for the post of party leader.

Bugeja, whose extensive career in business and finance has kept him away from the island in the recent past, has confirmed with MaltaToday he intends submitting his nomination for the post of party leader, insisting that an outsider's nomination was important for the democratic process electing the next Opposition leader.

"Councillors must have the democratic option to vote for somebody who is 'off-menu'," Bugeja, formerly a financial controller at Reuters, said of the fact that he does not have any political alliances in his bid to face off the established names being floated for the leadership.

"I believe I have the political affinity, even though I don't have the history, as well as the knowledge and business acumen to serve as party leader," Bugeja told MaltaToday.

A lifelong member of the Nationalist Party, Bugeja has set up a Facebook page where he puts his name forward in an online survey on the next party leader, who will replace Lawrence Gonzi in an election to take place in May.

Bugeja will have to face party giants like Simon Busuttil, Beppe Fenech Adami, and Chris Said: some of the main names being touted for a run for the leadership.

"I am very seriously considering running for the party leadership," Bugeja said when asked about the chances of an outside candidate running for the post, which is heavily underpinned by the loyalties of the PN General Council. "Lacking a political history can be an advantage too."
matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.
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AHJAR JARA GHAL XHIEX DIEHEL GHAX DJUN KBAR GHANDU L-PN.
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Dragut, you are wrong to categorise people in such a manner, even if it is naturally your right to do so. I believe in giving a person, especially a person of Simon's ability and intelligence a second chance, just as the Prime Minister was given a second chance after his errors on the EU etc. Simon had absolutely no part in the outgoing government, and that is what the people, including you, voted on on the 9th March. Yes, he was deputy leader for barely 3 months, and yes he did not have an impact, but the polls have been very clear for a long time, so to expect a miracle was unrealistic. If the delegates, or the members for that matter (as I am not against that proposal) choose Simon, I am confident that even you will revisit your pessimistic views on him after a few years, views which, incidentally, are understandable. I firmly believe in giving real talent a second chance.
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Dragut, you are wrong to categorise people in such a manner, even if it is naturally your right to do so. I believe in giving a person, especially a person of Simon's ability and intelligence a second chance, just as the Prime Minister was given a second chance after his errors on the EU etc. Simon had absolutely no part in the outgoing government, and that is what the people, including you, voted on on the 9th March. Yes, he was deputy leader for barely 3 months, and yes he did not have an impact, but the polls have been very clear for a long time, so to expect a miracle was unrealistic. If the delegates, or the members for that matter (as I am not against that proposal) choose Simon, I am confident that even you will revisit your pessimistic views on him after a few years, views which, incidentally, are understandable. I firmly believe in giving real talent a second chance.
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Joseph Borg
An eye opener for the next PN leader. Maltatoday polls were always consistent about trust in Muscat. Body language played a very important part here. I could easily notice, that in his speeches, Gonzi, (and Simon) was dictating what others told him to say, he was not convinced of what he was saying, just cosmetic bla bla. His frustrating eyes exposed it all.
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dgriscti - Re. your comments about my posting yesterday. I have nothing personal against Dr Simon Busuttil and I know he was thrown in at the deep end. In fact, he did the honourable thing, to come back to Malta to try and help Dr Gonzi win the election. He must have known that it was a losing battle and yet he was a gentleman and put the party before his personal interests. I am sure that he will indeed become the next leader of the PN but he does not appeal to ex-PN voters or people who like myself don't feel they belong to any party anymore. I have no hidden agenda but come into contact with people from all walks of life - they feel Simon is too "soft", said all the wrong things in the run-up to the election and that he is not one of them, although I acknowledge that he is self-made and highly intelligent. For a country to be democratic, it needs a strong opposition ....the PN are doing nothing to get back those 35,000 voters....NET TV remains the same, stupid statements are issued that irritate the same people who felt that they had to vote PL in order for the PN to return to its former glory. I suspect you are a diehard Nationalist which means that you will never understand the mentality of those 35,000 people.....I never post comments but since the election have done so because I feel that the PN is still in time to choose the right person who can win back the voters (not Dr Busuttil) and perhaps get the PN back into government within the next ten years. Do you really want the PL to rule for the next 15 or 25 years. I voted PL in the last election although I had nothing to gain. However, I don't want them to be in government for more than a ten year period because power corrupts. It is vital that the election of the leader should be open to members and not just delegates. If the PN is democratic, it will allow the loyal supporters who were devastated by the loss on 9th March to chose their leader. Stubborness gets one nowhere, look at the MLP when it was led by Alfred Sant.....
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Joseph Borg
The PN needs a young charismatic person, able make a clean sweep of antiquate, obsolete, conservative policies and thinking. It is about time to stop playing diplomacy and lawyer like attitude towards the man in the street.
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Lennex Brincat
Being a business man does Mr Bugeja know of the 250,000 euros loan by the pn from Zaren Vassallo?
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Paul Debono
Mr Bugeja do not waste your time. With the delegates all hand picked by the “Klikka” you already lost the race before it started. It is an open secret that Simon Busuttil is going to be the next leader.
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Noel Scerri
The problem with the Nationalist party is that it has been become too corrupt. As a PN supporter in the past, I feel new faces must be put forward. Unfortunately not everyone could hope for leadership (as in this article) but at least some names untainted by the clique.
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Why not! Everyone is entitled to contest after all. I am however rather surprised by Dragut's statement on the desperation of the PN members at the possibility of Simon being the next leader. PN members know that the biggest problem with the PN and the outgoing cabinet was the fact that it cut off from civil society and even alienated it with some of the arrogance and antics of some former cabinet members. Simon, on the contrary, has always been and will always be a person that civil society trusts and feels comfortable with. This is key for the future fortunes of he PN. This is why most PN members would be happy to see Simon as leader. Yes, he was caught unawares on a couple of occasions in the electoral campaign, but he had no honeymoon and had to follow a script that, in hindsight, was convenient for many in the outgoing cabinet, especially those that did not show their hand in the electoral campaign, except in a hidden manner through parts of the independant media. Not everyone is blind you know! Simon will adapt and his true colours as a genuine, modern, secular Christian Democrat will shine true.
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Rachel Roberts
Sabuh mill "YELLOW PAGES" ? :)
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Rachel Roberts
Sabuh mill "YELLOW PAGES" ? :)
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Joseph Borg
What the PN needs is a charismatic leader, who has no ties with the past, a be the one and only one in command. No puppeteers. That is the only way forward for the PN to regain the reputation.
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roderick degiorgio
I think he has better chance then Simon Busuttil or Chris Said to run for the leadership.
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I think Mr Bugeja is very plucky and courageous to consider standing for leader.....It just shows you how desperate members of the PN are feeling when they hear that Dr Simon Busuttil is being pushed as the next potential leader. From the point of view of an onlooker and neutral bystander, I find it an insult that voting for the next PN party leader is not going to be open to paid up members of the PN. Their loyalty deserves to be respected.....The delegates or people who chose Simon as deputy leader instead of Tonio Fenech were already mistaken.....Anyone can make a mistake.....to repeat your mistake, however, is stupidity. I think Beppe Fenech Adami and Chris Said have the most appeal to ex-PN voters..................They seem to be moderates and at least haven't uttered anything stupid yet! Otherwise the PN will end up in opposition for many years to come................
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John Zammit
the more the merrier ghalkemm sa fejn naf jien fil 2008 lil dr sant kienu jghajjru xih allura is sur bugeja li sa elezzjoni ohra jkollu 66 bl istess kejl tal ipokreti xjista jkun dan
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Joseph Borg
Is this his next investment !
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Raymond Mintoff
Sounds like a good idea but with lack of first hand know how of what goes in the PN how can he get rid of the extra luggage that has been holding PN down. Will he be making a clean sweep of the structure? Will he be ready to take on RCC and AG.? What about other businessmen who have a stake in PN like Zaren. It is a good idea but an outsider must have at least a little political know how, it is not a business concern.
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