PN awaits casual elections before leadership race timeline

PN executive president Joseph Grech reveals that the party will wait for the casual election to take place before mapping out timeline for the leadership race 

The Nationalist Party executive will meet to map out a timeline for the leadership race only after the casual elections are completed, Joseph Grech said.

The PN executive president said he had no timeframe in mind yet for the leadership election process. “This is something I still have to discuss with secretary-general Michael Piccinino and the administration but the executive will be deciding on the timeline of events.”

He said the PN statute makes it clear that a contest for the posts of leader and deputy leaders has to take place after an election defeat.

But Grech will be waiting for the parliamentary group to appoint the 13 MPs within it who will have voting rights in the executive.

“The appointment of the MPs with voting rights can only be done when the full composition of the parliamentary group is known after the casual elections are completed,” Grech told MaltaToday. “This is necessary because it has a bearing on the composition of the executive committee.”

Casual elections to fill the seven seats in parliament vacated by dual-candidacy PN MPs are expected to take place next week, after which the gender corrective mechanism also kicks in. Nominations for the casual elections for seats vacated by PN MPs opened on Tuesday.

The PN executive is composed of the leader, two deputy leaders, 11 party officials, all MPs but only 13 with voting rights, MEPs, past leaders and deputy leaders, 18 members elected by the general council, representatives from all electoral districts, 13 local councillors, the chairpersons of five regional committees and two representatives each from the different party organs.

Bernard Grech has already said that he intends to recontest the post of leader, while his predecessor Adrian Delia and successful newcomer Joe Giglio have ruled out running for the post. General council president Mark Anthony Sammut has also ruled out contesting for the post after his name started making the rounds.

Change: This article has been amended to reflect the fact that PN MP casual elections will be held next week not on Friday as originally reported.