Lovin Malta founder to become Nationalist Party’s chief strategist

Lovin Malta founder Christian Peregin is exiting the media company he founded to join the PN, which he describes as being ‘a shadow of its former self’

Lovin Malta founder Christian Peregin is exiting the media company and joining the PN
Lovin Malta founder Christian Peregin is exiting the media company and joining the PN

Lovin Malta founder Christian Peregin is exiting the company he founded five years ago to join the Nationalist Party.

It was Peregin himself who made the announcement in an opinion piece published on Tuesday night on Lovin Malta. No announcement was forthcoming from the PN.

Peregin has stepped down from company CEO with immediate effect and his last day at Lovin will be on the 31 July, the news portal said. Peregin has also initiated the process to sell off his shareholding.

Sources close to the PN have told MaltaToday that Peregin will take on the role of chief strategist in the party as it readies itself for the next general election.

The move brings back memories of a similar circumstance in 2016 when then Times of Malta head of news Caroline Muscat left journalism to join the PN as campaign director. Just like Peregin’s, the move back then came months before a general election that the PN went on to lose big.

Peregin did not specify what role he will be taking up within the PN but gave his reasons for the move in a 1,555-word article in which he expressed concern over the wide gap in the polls between the government and Opposition.

“No government likes to be criticised, but criticism is only really effective when a government has something to lose. Unfortunately, without the threat of an Opposition gaining in popularity, the government does not have a big enough incentive to listen to its critics. This is made worse by the fact that this government has a habit of silencing critics rather than listening to them, despite enjoying such a large majority,” he wrote, warning of the threat that the PL could end up with a two-thirds majority.

Peregin described the PN as a party that “stopped being relevant after EU membership” and was now“a shadow of its former self”.

“But that’s where the opportunity lies. The party is ready to be rebuilt. It must be rebuilt. And it has a leader who is eager to welcome people back to help him rebuild it,” Peregin wrote.

He added that he was willing to “roll up his sleeves and do something” and urged others to be inspired by his story and do the same. “This is your country and it’s up to you to change it.”

Earlier this year, Peregin fronted Lovin Malta's constitutional court case to declare political propaganda by the political party stations unconstitutional. He had also hounded the parties for failing to publish their company accounts for their respective media arms and lamented that they were not fined, as should be the case, for failure to do so.

It remains to be seen how Peregin will reconcile his campaign against the political party TV stations with his new role within the PN.

However, Peregin’s move to the PN comes at a time when the party is trying to rejuvenate itself. Secretary General Francis Zammit Dimech has announced he will not contest for the role, which has been earmarked for 26-year-old Michael Piccinino.

A previous move by leader Bernard Grech to rope in Roberta Metsola and Joe Giglio as deputy leaders backfired after the incumbents – David Agius and Robert Arrigo refused to budge.

In the latest MaltaToday poll published last Sunday, Grech trailed Prime Minister Robert Abela by 21 points in the trust barometer, while the gap between the major parties stood at 39,000 votes despite gains by the PN.