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Updated | ‘No time for risks,’ Perici Calascione warns ahead of Saturday’s vote

PN leadership candidate Alex Perici Calascione advises councillors to go for a 'safe' vote • Nationalist Party denies receiving letter requesting an investigation into Perici Calascione

Liam Carter
30 August 2017, 11:42am
Last updated on 30 August 2017, 12:20pm
PN leadership candidate, Alex Perici Calascione (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
PN leadership candidate, Alex Perici Calascione (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Councillors should cast their vote knowing that the candidate they’re electing will be constantly focusing on leading the party, PN leadership candidate Alex Perici Calascione told a news conference.

“You know where you stand with me,” Perici Calascione said, a direct message to councillors and party activists.

Launching his electoral programme this morning at the party’s club at Tal-Pieta, Perici Calascione described the current upheaval within the party as “a difficult time”, but took the opportunity to encourage councillors to vote “safe”.

“This is not the time to risk. We need to vote with the peace of mind that the new leader will be fully focused on leading the party,” he said, adding that the new leader should focus on uniting the party and leading it to a win.

Some 10 minutes after the press conference had ended, the Labour Party’s media alleged that the PN had ignored a letter sent by councilor Frank Pickard in which he would have allegedly raised “serious allegations” against Perici Calascione.

The letter, according to reports, was sent yesterday.

In less than an hour after the news report was published, the PN denied the allegation. It also said that Karol Aquilina, president of the PN’s administrative council, tried to reach out to Pickard but to no avail.

The PN went on to urge Pickard, and anyone else, with “serious allegations” to make on any of the candidates to come forward now.

Defending the electoral commission, Perici Calascione said that before submitting their candidature, the prospective leaders faced a “detailed” due-diligence exercise.

“But detailed questions require detailed answers for the exercise to be successful,” Perici Calascione said, arguing that candidates also need to be upfront about their assets and liabilities.

Launching his  electoral programme at a press conference at the PN club in Pietà, Perici Calascione stressed the importance of updating the party politically.

Perici Calascione underlined the importance of remaining “guided by the principles which are listed down is the statute of the party while also discovering changes that evidently occurred in the Maltese Society in the last 25 years”.

In his electoral programme, Perici Calascione stated the need to strengthen both sectional committees and party branches which, “should not only be consulted but be at the centre of drafting the policy of the party with regular meetings with the leader”.

Perici Calascione also said he will substitute the role of assistant secretary-general for several directors which will be hired as required.

He also emphasised the importance of the PN's information office and electoral arm ELCOM undergoing a ‘strengthening process’, which would see the latter’s director placed on the executive council and involved directly in the strategy of the party.

Perici Calascione said the main focus of the party’s work should be human beings. “The human being must be kept at the centre of all our policies”.