Busuttil tells PN supports to be proud, new leader by September

New PN leader to be elected by all paying members in September, an emotional Simon Busuttil

Simon Busuttil was joined on stage by his partner Kristina who he thanked for
Simon Busuttil was joined on stage by his partner Kristina who he thanked for "standing beside me"

PN leaders Simon Busuttil told party supporters tonight that they should hold their heads high and be proud of being Maltese and Nationalists.

“With conviction and determination, for the love of our country, we will never give up. Be proud more than ever before of being Maltese and Nationalists and representing what the party stands for,” he said.

In what will surely go down as one of his most memorable speeches as PN leader, Busuttil told the hundreds of supporters in front of him that he will be in charge of the party until a new leader is in place.

“I will remain here, I will be here with you, till the very last moment until a new leader is chosen. You can put your mind at rest, there will be no void .Things will be done properly and transparently. We will not abandon the party, until a new leadership is in place. We will ensure that the party functions, we will give you a voice and we will make sure that the opposition is strong.”

The sizeable crowd, including a few teary-eyed activists, chanted “Simon, Simon” as Busuttil made his way to the stage in the party’s HQ in Pieta.  

“Seriousness requires us to face you and explain the electoral result, which was neither desired or expected.”
He said the result must be accepted with dignity and reassured that the electoral process was fair.

“It’s not about being right or wrong, it does not mean that the majority is right or wrong, but there are different opinions and the majority chose a different opinion. This does not mean that we are wrong or the majority is right. Democracy demands us to accept the result even if it went against our wishes.”

Upon announcing the process to elect a new leader, Busuttil was interrupted by cries of “Simon, Simon” as part of the crowd urged him to stay on. However, Busuttil went on to assure them that “the party is here and here it will remain.”

He added that the PN’s executive will in the coming days decide on the process of electing a new leadership, which will for the first time be elected by all paying members.

He said this will be a lengthy process and explained that some 23,000 will be eligible to vote. Nominations will open in the coming weeks and the list of candidates will be narrowed down to two by the PN’s general council made up of over 1,500 officials. The two final contenders will then be elected by the members in September.

While thanking the activists, volunteers and party employees, Busuttil also addressed the 135,000 people who voted for the PN-PD list and said that the party’s narrative on good governance and the need for strong and independent institutions will not be put aside.

“We believe in these values and we still believe in them. Lets not for a moment think that what we stood for is wrong or should be discarded. We should be proud of what we believe in. We, you, believe in good things.”

“We embrace honesty, be proud of these values, keep your heads up. Be proud of honesty, truth and integrity. Be proud that you are Maltese, be proud that you are Nationalists,” he said.

In an inclusive pitch, Busuttil said being a Nationalist does not mean being anti-Labour. “Being a nationalist means loving your country, that is why we welcomed with open arms Labourites. The Labourites who joined us in this election are as Nationalist as everyone else, this is their home as much as everyone else’s.”

Shouldering full responsibility for the catastrophic loss, Busuttil said “I cannot talk about good governance, accountability and political responsibility without shouldering responsibility. I believe in leadership by example.”

Reassuring the activists that the PN is financially and organisationally sound, Busuttil said “I am proud of leaving a party in a healthy state, a strong, organised, efficient party and your presence here tonight is testament to this.”

Describing his four years at the helm of the party as the most beautiful experience in his life, Busuttil said “I gave a lot but I also received a lot back, I learned a lot from you, I received your love, your energy. I wish to leave behind an inheritance of proper behaviour. The PN is a shining example of good behaviour, honesty and integrity.”