'I feel disconnected from the party' - Nationalist Party loses election candidate

Tiffany Abela-Wadge said that she tried to speak about women's issues in the party, only to be shut down

Tiffany Abela-Wadge, pictured left, resigned as a PN candidate for the next general election
Tiffany Abela-Wadge, pictured left, resigned as a PN candidate for the next general election

The Nationalist Party has lost a candidate for the coming general election, adding to an already turbulent week for the Opposition.

Tiffany Abela-Wadge, who was slated to contest the election on Districts 9 and 10, said that she feels disconnected from the party and unable to contribute to the PN's political direction.

"The party seem to want to steer clear of my way of politics - that of working with the opposite side to bring about a change from within, rather than always fighting, always complaining and never agreeing with what the government is doing," she wrote on Facebook.

Yesterday’s survey results make me realize that I’m not alone in this. Only some of you know so far, but a few weeks ago...

Posted by Tiffany Abela-Wadge on Monday, May 10, 2021

She said that she tried to speak up about women's issues in the party, but was shut down.

"I’m not a woman who would shut up and toe the party line even when the party is simply not talking about the subject at hand, and that’s why I decided to step down."

Abela-Wadge added that results from Sunday's MaltaToday survey, which shows an almost 40,000 vote gap between the PN and PL, show that she is not the only one who feels unrepresented by the Nationalist Party.

"Rest assured that this by no means mean that I’ve hopped over to another side. This simply means that I took a step back. When election time comes, I hope to find that candidate who sees life like I do, and that person will definitely get my vote."

Nationalist Party denies censorship on women's issues

On his part, the PN's secretary-general Francis Zammit Dimech denied ever censoring Abela-Wadge over women's issues.

"I categorically deny that we tried to censor her or interfere with her position," he told MaltaToday.

Zammit Dimech explained that Abela-Wadge had appeared on a TV show prior to her resignation, where she spoke about a variety of topics that included women's issues.

However, the Nationalist Party has a media policy whereby clearance must be obtained by the party before a candidate or MP can make any media appearances. 

According to Zammit Dimech, the party was not notified of Abela-Wadge's TV appearance.

He said that he spoke with her over the matter, and that at the time he felt that there was no particular disagreement between the two on the issue, but shortly after the incident she went on to resign as a party candidate.

"We never had the slightest problem," Zammit Dimech said. "This had nothing to do with the content of her interview."

While Abela-Wadge resigned weeks ago, the news is fresh off the back of a turbulent week for the PN. A libel case victory for Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi reignited an unrequited feud he holds with former Opposition leader Adrian Delia.

When Azzopardi took to Facebook to announce his victory against Vincent Borg, known as Ċensu l-Iswed, the Nationalist MP said that Borg was manipulated to "throw mud" at Azzopardi.

Adrian Delia took this as a reference to himself, insinuating that it was him who manipulated Borg to dirty Azzopardi's name.

At this point, Delia hit out at him, challenging him to sue him for libel over a series of statements.

READ ALSO | Azzopardi’s shock declaration: ‘It doesn’t result that hundreds of messages were exchanged between Yorgen Fenech and Delia’