Simon Busuttil admits election ‘was lost before campaign started’

PN deputy leader Simon Busuttil says election was lost before he entered the fray, confirms he will hold seat in Maltese Parliament.

Deputy leader Simon Busuttil at the Naxxar counting hall speaking to party agents. Photo: James Galea/Mediatoday
Deputy leader Simon Busuttil at the Naxxar counting hall speaking to party agents. Photo: James Galea/Mediatoday

Nationalist deputy leader Simon Busuttil, elected to the post one month before the campaign officially kicked off, admitted that the election was a foregone conclusion before the start of the electoral campaign in January.

Speaking to TVM on Monday, Busuttil said: "Everybody must assume responsibility, including myself, however it is evident that the margin is too big and was decided before the campaign started."

The PN was consigned to the Opposition after 15 years in government with 43% of the vote, a defeat that handed Labour a 35,000 vote majority.

However Busuttil pointed out that although the campaign made no difference at all. "I entered the fray as the campaign kicked off and I did my utmost to help my party when it needed it most."

Busuttil, who will relinquish his MEP seat this week, would not commit himself on whether he would throw his name in the hat when the PN chooses its next leader, insisting that he needed time to reflect on whether he should contest.

In a column he penned for The Times, Busuttil write: "When I decided to contest the deputy leadership of the party just a few days before the Government collapsed, I knew I that I was coming in at a very difficult time when the easiest thing for me to do was to stay out of it."

He added that before taking up the post, he was aware that Labour had an "almost unassailable lead" but stressed that he was "prepared to face the consequences."

 "But I do have a clear conscience. I am proud to have been there for my party in the hour of need and I would not have forgiven myself if I had not done my part when the party needed help most."

In the past, Busuttil had turned down the offer for the post of secretary-general when he had been asked by Gonzi. Instead he decided in 2012 to contest for the position of deputy leader once it was vacated by Tonio Borg.

In contrast, hours after the announcement of Labour's thumping victory, PN leader Lawrence Gonzi assumed "complete and total responsibility" for the defeat and said that he would be stepping down from the party leadership.

The PN statute stipulates that the party leader has to be confirmed by the party's general council within three months of a general election, and Gonzi said that he would not be submitting his name, effectively meaning that the PN would need to hold a contest.

In the deputy leadership contest held four months ago, Busuttil had seen off the only other contender former finance minister Tonio Fenech and obtained 72.4% of the vote. Busuttil had sold himself as a deputy leader who was aware of the lead Labour had but that he was the only chance for the party to win the election.

In his first address as deputy leader, Busuttil had vowed to build a bridge with disgruntled voters and said that the PN could win the 9 March election.

"Let us fill ourselves with hope, courage, enthusiasm, and determination and let us all believe once that together we can win again," he had told the PN councillors on 30 November.

More in Elections 2013
avatar
Mela jekk skont Simon Busuttil l-elezzjoni kienet diġa mitlufa,għalfejn baqa' jittama u jigdeb lill-partitarji Nazzjonalisti li kienu ser jirbħu l-elezzjoni?Dan hu dak it-tip ta' mexxej li qed jisperaw li jkollhom fil-futur? Veru se jkollhom kaptan tajjeb.
avatar
Għadni nisma lill-Dr.Lawrence Gonzi jgħid,Fid-9ta' Marzu,nivvutaw u fl-10ta' Marzu,niċċelebraw. Pero ħa zball oħxon ħafna għax ried jgħid,Fid-9ta' Marzu nivvutaw u fl-10ta' Marzu,nirrizenjaw.Nistaqsi fejn mar jistaħba is-Sur Demartino? Għadu jgħid li ser jirbħu l-elezzjoni għax iggvernnaw u ġabu lill- Malta wieħed mill-aqwa pajjizi fl-Ewropa? Tgħid qed jistħi jidher quddiem in-nies minħabba it-tkaxkira enormi li qalgħu? Jeww forsi għadu jiddewwa mil-ġrieħi?
avatar
Imbierek Alla lanqas tafu tisthu. Kemm intkom wicckom tost anka meta l-poplu zbarrazakom. Insejt li kellek tmur fil-kcejjen tan-nies u minghalik ghamilt lilek innifsek xi superstar u gabuk minn Brussels halli trebahom l-elezzjoni. Ghal naqra ma rnexxilekx sur buzullotti l-izjed b'dawk ic-cucati li bdejt tghid ta' kuljum. Jien nghid li int kont wiehed minn dawk li kont direttament responsabbli ghat telfa daqshekk umiljanti li sofra gonzipn. U mela issa tahsel idejk qiesek Pilatu. J'Alla issir leader tal-pn int. Jekk jsir hekk,ibqa zgur li jrid jghaddi dan is-seklu sabiex il-pn jkollu cans jerbah,
avatar
Pilatu hasel idejh issa!!!
avatar
“Simon Busuttil admits election ‘was lost before campaign started” Truthfully Mr. Busuttil to read your statement one must conclude that you were aware that you joined a loosing team to appease the party brass and not to serve the Maltese people. Please note below the reasons why the PN lost this election and no matter how you try to analyze it, arrogance with the belief that the Maltese people will continue to swallow the PN media manipulation are foremost at the roots of this eye opening defeat. Your place in Brussels was very well guarded and with Cachia Caruana’s support you were accepted in the inner circle of that manipulative clique that has destroyed your party and your reputation. The slippery slope of political accountability could not be found within your grasp especially when you had become another problem rather than the solution within a fragmented party. The biggest political mistake of this campaign, were the campaign managers that were oblivious to the PL strategy that copied and executed the Obama presidential campaign. A clear indication was the similar tones of Obama declaring there were no republicans or democrats because they were all Americans. Muscat copied this motto by insisting there were no reds or blues but a vision of a united Maltese nation. Against a background of favours for money and discriminatory government this motto stirred up the electorate to awaken from its decade of passive slumber. The scaremongering had run its course and what worked in years past with the assistance of some journalistic character assassinations had become no more effective considering the scandals of corruptions and commissions that had engulfed this small nation. Whether it was the PN leader or his deputy in debate, the audience realized that defending the indefensible exposed a party led by questionable self serving politicians who could not care less to construct a political strategy that can address the spiders web that controlled and destroyed the party from within.
avatar
Simon busuttil is one of the main persons responsible for the PN landslide defeat. People judged the parties on their electoral manifesto. He tried to ridicule and make fool out of the PL program. He also said that he contributed very much for his party electoral manifesto which was simply rejected by an enormous majority. So how can he try to wipe off the blame because he was chosen vice leader a few months before election? he had a very active role in the party for many years now,and if he was good in some decisions when there was PN electoral victories, now he have to shoulder the consequences.Be a gentleman and make space for truly new blood. You are part of the hierarchy that was so despised by the sincere nationalists. It's time to move on Simon. subkult/revolt
avatar
Jekk Simon u Gonzi huma kapaci ghal xi haga zgur li din ix-xi haga kienet li huma tajbin biss biex jitmejlu bill-partitarji gwejdin ta' GonziPN. "Is-Sibt nivvutaw u l-Hadd niccelebraw"
avatar
Malajr harabt minna ir responsabbilta. Din ma tawgurax tajjeb ghal futur tiek
avatar
The PN's electoral defeat is EVERYONE's fault but Simon's! Why don't you go back to the EU "telling lies".
avatar
Dr Busuttil I think that by now you have realized that GonziPN used you and abused you for their own selfish reasons. You make an excellent Mep and you can do more good for Malta and the Maltese by being a Mep. Of course it is your decision and I hope you make the right one. Thank you for even acknowledging my letters where no other from your Party bothered to, unless they had to, and then only because you asked them to and they immediately passed my concern to their aide. So hang in there and I wish you a good future, Thank you.
avatar
Min dahal gas down gol hajt issa eh ? :)
avatar
Min dahal gas down gol hajt issa eh ? :)
avatar
Rita Pizzuto
Hasra tassew lim'ghadx ghandna l-pubblikazzjoni satirika Ix-Xewka ghax Lino Cassar - Alla jtih il-Genna - kien jaghmel festa b'Simon Busuttil, u nahseb li waqt il-kampanja elettorali kien johrogha kull jum. Tant qal cucati dan il-bravu ta' kull jum li mill-ewwel dahal fi qlub in-nazzjonalisti li baqghu mohhhom maghluq. Imma kif ma jisthix dan Simon jghid jipprova jzellaq minn fuqu r-responsabbilta' tal-umiljazzjoni? Mhux hu qal li fit-tigrija ghal deputat mexxej, li jekk ilpartiti tieghuried jirbah kellu jaghzel lilu...ghax milli jidher kellu hafna hin hieles x'jiddedika ghall=kampanja. Min jaf bhalissa Tonio Fenech kemm hu dispjacut li kien SImon id-deputat kap!!!!!
avatar
Fuq ix xoghol hekk kont nghidilhom. jekk ma jitlax il pn ha zommuh lil simon . Kienu jghidu tghidx kemm hu bravu u jien kont nispicca nrodd is slaleb. Jien nahseb li m ghandhomx ipoggu nies li missirijiethom kienu priministri u vici. Ghandhom jaghmlu nies godda u l franko debono m ghandhomx jinsewh
avatar
‘Shame on you Simon Busuttil’ toqodlok izjed ta’ ‘Gazzu’ milli kif kond inpengik bhala ‘bniedem xiply’, imissek tisthi li tigi wara dik it-tkaxkira manja tiddikjara li kond taf minn qabel ma hadt il-kariga ta’ ‘Vici Kap’ li l-PN kien ser jitlef..u ghaliex iddecidejt hekk….mur emmnek, wisq probabbli ghax wasal iz-zmien ta’ l-elezzjoni ghal Europa u hadt dan ic-cans….nissugerilek li tirrizenja mil-aktar fis possibli mil-PN u tghamel il-wisa ghal xi hadd b’vizjoni aktar wiesa minn tieghek….nahseb li kond taf ukol bil-favuri li nghataw granet qabel l-elezjoni fejn l-anqas gallinar ma fadal fil-housing u l-permessi li hargu mil-MEPA jibqaw imnizzlin flis-storja ta’ Malta. (habib tieghi qalli li wara 7 snin jistenna permess tawulu 4 tijiem qabel l-elezzjoni u tant kien hemm nies qablu jistennew fil-kju li beza jilghab flus kontra l-PN)…thabbilx rasek hadt mhu ser jimmisjak. L-aqwa li tlajt elett minn zewg distretti….b’ingann. ‘Shame on you Simon Busuttil’
avatar
maria aquilina
Simon is stating that he is an ineffective leader. How else can one explain that he himself stated that his presence in the leadership changed nothing as regards the electorate. A lesson from the Labour of the 80's: get rid of all culprits:Austin, Beppe and the Adamis, Cachia Caruana, Gonzi, Borg Oliver, Tonio Fenech. It is true that the only leader available will be Demaraco. The problem with him is that he lacks charisma. Your fault in loosing JPO and Franco.
avatar
Emmanuel Mallia
Simon, you are still tied up with those old, rhetoric, politics ! You were introduced at the last minute to save the party, but you failed. Your charisma has faded. The party needs no Simon, Beppe, Chris or Mario ! The party needs a young, energetic politician, with a very new outlook, on ways how to make politics. Unless those two, hardly ever mentioned individuals, behind the scenes, are expelled from the party, the PN will remain an underdog. Franco was very right !
avatar
It will be difficult reconstructing an all new building with the same old bricks.
avatar
Dr.Busuttil. I think you should reflect seriously on what you are about to do. You formed part of this loosing team and I for 1 could not vote your party in because of people like you. Watching you dialogue on TV was to say the lease embarrassing for the PN. You should gracefully remove yourself if you really as you say have the party at heart and let their be a breath of fresh air . Go back to Brussels, you where after all doing a good job there so why screw everything up.? Isn't a 35000 plus swing not enough to get the message ?
avatar
In 2008 the PN started off quite far behind in the polls and managed to win the lion's share of undecided voters in a short, effective campaign. This time round, they started off from a slightly worse position but they added to that a disastrous, unfocused campaign that yielded no results whatsoever. Simon wrote the programme and was a key member of the campaign team. To hear him dismiss his own responsibility in this way is quite astonishing.
avatar
ma tridx tkun xi gharef kbir sabiex tinduna li kontu resqin ghal tkaxkira Simon,intik parir,jew tibdel li stiel ta kif ghandek tiffaccja l avversarju jew inkella ippakkja
avatar
So basically you are saying that you spent the last 3 months lying through your teeth because at the end of the day your own financial income is tied up with being a nationalist. Good on you Simon, country needs a few more like you. I guess your sqeeky little courtier voice could be heard above the din and clamor for change. I would suggest you take a course on nail care and hair dressing and settle down to a new life doing something useful for society!
avatar
You better pack your bags and go back from were you came Mr Busuttil.We thank you for trying,May be in 15 years we win.
avatar
Now you should get LOST Simon !!
avatar
Attn Dear Simon, Seems you intend to remain distant from the PN setback by claiming the PN capaign was lost before it started Well I agree the PN was already weakened by internal strife but you new this all along and plunged into the deep end nothwithstanding the situation within and on the outside! Your haranguing during the campaign facilitated the matters in favour of the PL as in a nutshell your politics was old gaurd rethoric and scare mongering tactically
avatar
..... beda sabih mela buzu ta' mannarinu ..... ta' qablu kien jghix f'gidba u buzu wkoll ghamel erba' xhur jghix f'gidba waqt li kien qed jipprova jikkonvincina kemm kellu partit serju u kredibbli warajh ....... ma tantx ghandu biex jiftahar mela li kien qed jipprova jdahhalna fl'ixkora ..... missna blajniha l-lixka allura ...... imma nzertajna li m'ahniex imzazen ...... u mbaghad hemm haga ohra .... MID-DEHRA DAN BUZU M'HUX XEJN GHAJR BUZULLIEQU GHAX MINN KULL RESPONSABBILTA JARA KIF JAGHMEL BIEX JAHRAB .... L-EWWEL KIEN IWIEGEB LI HU MA KIENX HEMM META KIENU QED ISIRU L-QASSATAT .... IMBAGHAD JIBGHAT LIR-REPORTERS TAL-ONE BIEX ISAQSU IL GONZI GHAX HU MA KIEN HEMM .... ISSA BIEX JILGHABHA TAN-NADIF QED JGHID LI KIEN HEMM IT-TELFA LESTA QABEL MA TFACCU HU ..... MID-DEHRA DAQS GONZIPN HIEREG GWAPP DAN IR-RAGEL ..... iparla fuq kollox imma ma hu responsabbli ta' xejn .... kollox ifarfar fuq ta' qablu ...... TOQOGHDLU SEW ALLURA ..... BUZU L-BUZULLIEQU ..... nahseb li ahjar imur ibiegh xi patalott zebgha minn mannarinu .. forsi jibda l-ewwel bl-ucuh blu, ma tafx kif ..... avolja se jsibha bi tqila biex ikun jista' jsibhom issa wara d-damdima li qalghu ........
avatar
For me, Simon lost his integrity the moment he took on the deputy leadership by the way he supported all that was wrong and he knew it.Now he is saying indirectly that he had nothing to do with the PNs disasterous election campaign.The PN neads to be reborn without any of the faces running the show !!
avatar
Now Simon knows exactly who drove 'gas down ghal gol-hajt' ......... seems that he was wearing a seat belt because he got 2 seats in parliament at the expense of other PN candidates!!!!
avatar
Alfejn ittamajtna u gdibt ???? Int ivvintajt GonziPN issa gawdi l'invenzjoni tieghek sur Xmun.
avatar
This guy is unbelievable , not happy with being the most fake,arrogant and condescending politician on the Island(and that is saying a lot!) he is now telling us its not his fault his party suffered their worst defeat in history. Lies ,lies and more slime and lies thats all you get from Simon buzuttil
avatar
Simon: Allura qed tgħidu lin-nies tagħkom li waqt il-kampanja elettorali kontu qed tghadduhom biz-zmien!!!
avatar
One would ask then why did Simon go along with a negative campaign instead of being positive and do some damage control? Why did he and gonzi meeting after meeting promised victory on Sunday? It makes sense that even in the face of losing one must keep the supporters' moral high but not with stupid promises.After all when did Simon get the feeling that gonzipn will lose? Did he tell Gonzi about it and to change tatics? "Wara kulhadd gharef"
avatar
Kemm kien jghajjat gonzi-9 TA MARZU NIVVUTAW U L GHAXRA NICCELEBRAW!!!
avatar
insisting that he needed time to reflect on whether he should contest. You better reflect before you relinquish your MEP seat, because you did not make any difference to the PN as deputy leader.
avatar
Kien parti mit-telfa ghax kien dejjem negattiv u jbezza lill-elettorat mill-ispettru ta' gvern Laburista, sejjah lill-Deborah Schembri wicc ta' Nazzjonalista, ghajjar kemm il-darba lill-Toni Abela fuq il-kaz ta' Hal-Safi u nesa li l-poplu kellu l-karba tat-tbatija bil-kontjiet tad-dawl u l-ilma, kien xeba mill-arroganza taghhom u fuq kollox il-poplu tkaza li l-ministri hadu 500 euro fil-gimgha filwaqt li ahna hadna 1.16 Euro.
avatar
Prophet Simon.
avatar
so gonzi lied when he said that sat we vote and on sunday we celebrate.... Simon in the morning - " the PL copied our electoral program " the day after Simon said that " with the PL program we re hadding gas down against a wall " which simon you belive????