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Simon Busuttil kills speculation: will not contest leadership election

Speculation has mounted that Simon Busuttil wants to remain leader of the Nationalist Party. But in comments to MaltaToday, Busuttil said he will not ‘re-contest the party leadership’

miriam
Miriam Dalli
14 July 2017, 5:29pm
'Simon Busuttil has made it amply clear that he will not re-contest the party leadership and that decision still stands'
'Simon Busuttil has made it amply clear that he will not re-contest the party leadership and that decision still stands'
It’s official. Opposition leader Simon Busuttil has no intention of seeking re-election as leader of the Nationalist Party.

The news was confirmed by his spokesperson, who told MaltaToday that Busuttil’s decision still stands.

“Simon Busuttil has made it amply clear that he will not re-contest the party leadership and that decision still stands,” the spokesperson said, when asked by MaltaToday.

Busuttil and the entire party leadership resigned following the harrowing electoral defeat at the hands of the Labour Party in the last general election.

Even though Busuttil had at the time declared that he would not re-contest the post, speculation has been mounting as to whether the 48-year-old lawyer had a change of heart.

The rumour continued to spread like wildfire today among many Nationalist exponents, after Busuttil filed a court application requesting a criminal investigation into the Panamanian accounts held by the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri, and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi.

One source close to the party admitted that it would be very surprising to them had Busuttil planned on running for the leadership post again; but others argued that it would make sense for Busuttil to use the Panama affair platform, as a pretext for his candidature.

Asked by MaltaToday why the court application was filed today, and not in the past year, the spokesperson replied: “The question on why no legal action has been taken against Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri on corruption and money laundering allegations ought to be addressed to the Prime Minister, to the Police Commissioner and to the Attorney General.

“All of them have a primary responsibility to ensure that justice prevails in our country. The fact that they have done nothing is a damning statement on the sorry state of the rule of law in Malta,” the PN spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that, in the absence of any action whatsoever from those whose responsibility it is to take it, the Opposition will continue to do its part as it has been doing under the leadership of Simon Busuttil.

“And no doubt it will continue to do so under the next leadership until justice prevails,” the spokesperson concluded.

miriam
Miriam Dalli joined MaltaToday.com.mt in 2010 and was assistant editor fr...