[WATCH] Charles Azzopardi welcome to sit on opposition benches should he be rejected by government – Grech

Opposition leader Bernard Grech says allegations against 2017 Labour candidate Charles Azzopardi were never substantiated

Opposition leader Bernard Grech
Opposition leader Bernard Grech

If Charles Azzopardi isn’t welcomed by the Labour Party, he is welcome to sit on Opposition benches, Bernard Grech has said.

The Nationalist Leader said that while he should sit on the government side of the House, given his 2017 candidacy with the Labour Party, Azzopardi will be welcomed by the opposition. 

Azzopardi is one of three casual election candidates vying for the post vacated by former Finance Minister Edward Scicluna. The other two candidates are former minister Gavin Gulia, and former Nationalist MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando. 

The opposition leader was interviewed on party station Net Television by journalist Yendrick Cioffi from sister newspaper Illum. 

Grech said that despite allegations made against Charles Azzopardi, no action has been taken against him. 

Reacting to the MaltaToday survey published on Sunday,which showed the Grech climbing almost five points since December, the opposition leader said that such results show people are understanding that decisions taken by the party are with the best intentions. 

“We are not only making advancements in survey results, but also in people’s participation within party structures,” he said. 

He also described himself as being “prudent” in his decision making, stating his first 100 days at the helm of the party will help him in carrying out the needed changes. 

“Today’s survey results show the PN’s majority among young voters is increasing,” he said. 

On his proposal to have a woman deputy leader, Grech said that such an appointment can only come after the general election, but said that more women are already being integrated into the party’s decision-making structures. 

He recalled the election of lawyer Martina Caruana as one of the party’s presidents. 

Grech also slammed government’s “arrogant” approach, saying the people are fed up of false positivity. 

“What I would have done differently? I wouldn’t have attacked teachers and say that online lessons were not good,” he said. 

“Teachers deserve more respect. They work tirelessly, and all they wanted was to teach online for a couple of days in light of the rise in COVID-19 cases,” he said. 

On the closure of political party stations, the PN leader said that he is categorically against such a decision, calling out the lack of impartiality on the national broadcaster, something he said, was accepted by everyone.    

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