PN has to 'build bridges' with Repubblika, Francis Zammit Dimech insists

The newly-appointed PN secretary-general tells supporters the PN and NGO Repubblika have different identities but share common values

NGO Repubblika has been at the forefront of anti-corruption protests
NGO Repubblika has been at the forefront of anti-corruption protests

Francis Zammit Dimech has called for collaboration with NGO Repubblika because of the shared values the group enjoys with the Nationalist Party.

The recently-appointed PN secretary-general told party supporters that the time has come to “build bridges” while still respecting each other’s roles.

Speaking at the PN club in Żabbar ahead of leader Adrian Delia on Sunday morning, Zammit Dimech defended his meeting with Repubblika at PN headquarters last week during which documents on good governance were exchanged.

“We have different identities and they may be critical of us, but we must collaborate because we have a lot of shared values,” Zammit Dimech said, adding this reflected the need for “unity in diversity” that had always been a PN characteristic.

However, Zammit Dimech underscored the importance of the PN being the “true political force” to act as an alternative to government.

The secretary-general tried to instil courage among PN supporters who were left dejected by infighting that culminated with several MPs calling for Delia to step down.

Repubblika and other activist NGOs broadly represent a section of the Nationalist electorate that has rejected Delia’s leadership.

Zammit Dimech was appointed interim secretary-general after the resignation of Clyde Puli.

PN MP Stephen Spiteri
PN MP Stephen Spiteri

Stephen Spiteri greeted with applause

In his home district at the Żabbar PN club on Sunday, Nationalist MP Stephen Spiteri was greeted with warm applause by party supporters.

The MP from the Second District had to distance himself last week from the 17 Blue Heroes poster uploaded on social media by Jason Azzopardi, insisting he did not want to be part of any coup to oust the party leader.

READ ALSO: PN MP Stephen Spiteri says he wants no part in coup to oust Adrian Delia

In his short speech before Delia took the stage, Spiteri did not make reference to the controversy, focussing instead on what he described as the failed hospitals concession deal.

Spiteri called out the government for persisting with the deal that transferred three public hospitals to the obscure company VGH, which failed and sold out to Steward Healthcare.

Steward are now asking for a renegotiation of the deal, asking for more money from the government.

A survey among PN members conducted by MaltaToday and published today, shows that Delia’s strongest support is among the tesserati in the southern districts, including Spiteri’s Second District constituency.

READ ALSO: Adrian Delia has majority support among PN members but a third want him out

 

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