PN is ‘modern choice’ for middle-of-the-road voters, Bernard Grech says

Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech closes the party’s general council with an appeal to anyone with a cause to join the party: ‘We are ready to make your causes ours’

PN leader Bernard Grech closing the party's general council at the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta
PN leader Bernard Grech closing the party's general council at the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta

Bernard Grech has pitched the Nationalist Party as the “modern choice” of those seeking the “middle road” on many issues dominated by extremes.

The PN leader did not specify the issues but indicated that on the environment, development, immigration, work conditions, traffic and the management of the COVID pandemic, the party was best poised to find the middle road.

“Because we trust you, we can find middle of the road solutions without panic and without resorting to extremes. [We can do this] Because we are a big party that encompasses a wide variety of ideas. We are capable of working towards compromise, which has been abandoned,” Grech said.

He was closing the last session of the week-long PN general council that was held at the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta on Saturday night.

Sounding upbeat, Grech insisted the PN welcomed anyone who wanted to advance their cause.

“We are ready to make your causes ours and respond to them both as an effective Opposition but more so as an alternative government. You can use the PN as a tool for the change that you want to see happening,” Grech said.

He insisted that as leader it was his duty to create the necessary space within the party structures for people to come forward with their ideas.

Grech publicly welcomed Lovin Malta founder Christian Peregin’s engagement by the party as chief strategist and said that many others like him came forward to offer their ideas and work.

Taking a pot shot at what he described as government’s mediocrity, Grech said it was a reality that if people wanted something from the government they would find a Labour minister to meet their demands.

“Well done! You do well to help people who have a right to something. That is how it should be. And that is what we will do when in government, we will ensure people get what is rightfully theirs. But your right should not depend on the minister’s will,” he said.

Grech accused the government of taking Malta 30 years back citing as examples corruption in politics, the fear of people to voice a different opinion, frequent electricity cuts and political discrimination.

“They buried us in the same problems of 30 years ago because they do not know how to take this country forward,” Grech said.

The PN leader said it was time to strengthen society’s foundations. “We have to rediscover the values of solidarity and respect to one and all by understanding that a sense of community strengthens us as individuals.”

Grech said the PN had the grit to build a better future for Malta. “We have the courage to prune once and for all that which has kept us back as a nation,” he pledged.

“It is possible to make a different kind of politics that inspires our youth… it is possible to find the wise middle road on many issues on which, until now, we always saw extremes,” he said, promising that the PN could become the government that people yearn for.

New council president, executive members

The general council elected Mark-Anthony Sammut as president of the general council. He takes over from veteran Censu Galea.

Councillors also elected several members to the party's executive. Those elected include newcomers Joe Giglio, a criminal lawyer, and Julie Zahra, a former Eurovision singer.

The elected members to the executive are:

Women's list - Paula Mifsud Bonnici (845 votes), Julie Zahra (823), Roselyn Borg Knight (802), Francesca Zammit (798), Veronica Perici Calascione (768), Michela Dalli (661).

Men's list - Joe Giglio (1,042 votes), Michael Piccinino (1,013), Alex Perici Calascione (941), Francis Zammit Dimech (879), Mark Azzopardi (748), Michael Fenech Adami (562).

Young people's list - No election was needed since the number of nominations equalled the number of slots. Alexander Borg, Bernice Theresa Bonello, Charlene Camilleri and Alexander Jacobsen were elected.

Gozo list - No election was needed since the number of nominations equalled the number of slots. Beppe Galea and Maria Victoria Theuma were elected.