Muscat, Busuttil, Farrugia and Cassola to face off at University leaders' debate

Prime Minister confirms attendance after event is rescheduled

A leaders' debate being organised at the University of Malta is to go ahead after the event was moved forward by 24 hours to allow for Prime Minister Joseph Muscat's attendance.

The leaders’ debate, hosted by the University of Malta’s Debating Union in collaboration with university media organisation 'The Third Eye', will include Nationalist Party (PN) leader Simon Busuttil, Partit Demokratiku (PD) leader Marlene Farrugia and Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) leader Arnold Cassola.

The Prime Minister's attendance had been in doubt after the proposed date clashed with a State visit by the Ukrainian President and no alternative date could be agreed on. According to the Office of the Prime Minister, the debating union had been adamant that the date and time of the debate were not up for discussion and thus “non-negotiable”.

“We were presented with a take it or leave it situation,” Muscat had said when asked by reporters why he would not be attending.

However, in a Facebook post on Sunday, the Debating Union confirmed that the debate would now be held on Wednesday 17th May at 1pm at Sir Temi Zammit Hall, on Campus.

In a statement, the PD said it was disyamed at an attempt by the Labour Party to "silence" the party by suggesting that only one leader should represent the Forza Nazzjonali coalition, adding that it looked forward to the opporunity to debate other parties given that they had been "excluded from other fora".