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[WATCH] Marlene Farrugia: ‘I am against Panama Gang, not Labour Party’

Marlene Farrugia brushes off criticism by PN MPs at proposed coalition: 'Internal criticism is normal in a political party' 

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
20 April 2017, 10:30pm
Partit Demokratiku leader Marlene Farrugia was interviewed on TVM's XTRA
Partit Demokratiku leader Marlene Farrugia was interviewed on TVM's XTRA

Partit Demokratiku leader Marlene Farrugia attempted to draw a clear line in the sand between the Labour Party and what she described as the “Panama Gang” that has infiltrated it.

Interviewed by Saviour Balzan on TVM’s Xtra, the independent MP declined to say whether she believes Joseph Muscat forms part of the so-called ‘Panama Gang’.

“Only he can respond to that question, but I certainly hope that he isn’t in the Panama Gang as I helped get him elected,” she said.

However, she said with conviction that her partner and Labour Whip Godfrey Farrugia, as well as tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis, “form part of the Labour Party, and not the Panama Gang”.

The Partit Demokratiku plans to contest the general election under the PN banner, but Farrugia admitted that negotiations are still ongoing and that the proposal could collapse if the PN doesn’t agree with its five points – namely related to good governance, transparency, electoral reform, the environment and social justice.

“We gave Simon Busuttil our list of proposals and he said that he will propose it to the party structures and come back to me. There’s a chance that the PN will disagree with them, but that will be a shame because Malta doesn’t need a clash of egos but an alternative government that people can trust.”

She brushed off reports that a number of PN MPs have privately criticised the planned coalition, arguing that internal criticism is not unusual when a party announces changes.

“For example, I disagreed with Joseph Muscat’s decision to replace the torch on the Labour Party’s logo with an ice-cream cone, but I remained in he party,” she said. “Even a party as small as the PD has its own internal disagreements, but the important thing is that we look at the national interest and not our own egos.”

Farrugia started her career in the Labour Party, before joining the Nationalist Party in 1996, and re-joining the Labour Party in 2004. She quit Labour again in 2015 to set

She brushed off criticism of her frequently shifting political allegiance, arguing that she has always remained loyal to the Maltese public and that she only jumped ship when her party’s actions started to shift away from its promises and her own personal beliefs.

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono is a journalist at MaltaToday
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