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Freemasons suspended by PN get caught smiling with Delia

Freemasons who said they left masonic group after PN suspension snapped in photo with PN leadership contender Adrian Delia

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
7 September 2017, 9:00am
Church media Newsbook set much store by this photo as an example of Karol Aquilina's claims of freemasonry
Church media Newsbook set much store by this photo as an example of Karol Aquilina's claims of freemasonry
Two PN members who were suspended by the Nationalist Party for being freemasons, have been photographed in the party’s Hamrun club posing with leadership candidate Adrian Delia and backers Kristy and Jean-Pierre Debono.

Olvin Galea and Jonathan Pace were long-time canvassers for Mario de Marco, but in 2015 were suspended by the PN after MaltaToday revealed they were freemasons. The PN’s statute prohibits members from being freemasons.

Church media Newsbook.com.mt published the group photo, latching on to PN official Karol Aquilina's claims about freemasonry in the PN leadership election, and reported Delia as saying he had no idea that two men had been freemasons.

Freemasonry became a minor theme in the taut PN leadership campaign after Karol Aquilina, the president of the PN’s administrative council, posted an enigmatic message on Facebook suggesting that freemasonry “would be the worst thing to happen to the party”. It was interpreted as a dig at Adrian Delia, after the administrative council issued a statement calling on the newcomer to “reconsider” his candidature following a PN ethics inquiry dealing with an offshore client account he serviced.

When asked by Newsbook.com.mt about the status message he posted, Aquilina was equally enigmatic: “Malta is small, its people are well-known. It is clear for anyone to see.”

Delia has denied being a freemason.

The Nationalist Party is the only Maltese party whose code of ethics specifically forbids Nationalist Party officials, MPs, local councillors, party candidates, members of Executive Committees of PN movements, sectional committees and party committees, from being freemasons.

Both Galea and Pace are actively involved in the PN’s Hamrun sectional committee, and the former had a vote in the PN general council which elected the PN deputy leader in December 2012.

A spokesperson for the PN had said membership of the PN and a secret society were “incompatible”. “The moment the membership of Mr Galea and Mr Pace in the Malta Grand Lodge became publicly known, they automatically stopped being members of the party. The matter is being referred to the Administrative Council of the party for its consideration.”

 

Friends: Olvin Galea and Jonathan Pace with Mario de Marco (centre) - the MP had urged them to cut their links
Friends: Olvin Galea and Jonathan Pace with Mario de Marco (centre) - the MP had urged them to cut their links
Galea and Pace, both from Hamrun, spearheaded Mario de Marco’s leadership campaign in the wake of the PN’s 2013 defeat. The two men were pictured with De Marco and other PN political exponents, including new leader Simon Busuttil on numerous occasions.

In comments to MaltaToday on Sunday, Galea and Pace had said that “like all private citizens, we have the right of association as safeguarded by the Constitution. That said, we can confirm that today, we are not members of any society.”

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.