St Julian’s fat cat told PN official to shut me up, mayor Albert Buttigieg claims

Nationalist candidate reports conversation between PN official and “fat cat” with construction interests in St Julian’s, who demanded the party shut him up

St Julian’s mayor Albert Buttigieg
St Julian’s mayor Albert Buttigieg

The Nationalist candidate and St Julian’s mayor Albert Buttigieg claims his electoral run for a seat in the House could have been dampened by pressures from a “fat cat” with interests in St Julian’s, who requested that the PN ‘shut him up’.

Buttigieg, a campaigner against over-development in his and other localities, wrote in The Times that a long-standing acquaintance who disclosed to him hearing a “senior ‘unofficial’ party official and a particular ‘fat cat’” who had specially requested the party official to “shut me up”.

The meeting with the developer, whom Buttigieg said had vast commercial and construction interests in St Julian’s, took place in a hotel.

“During the discussion, the ‘fat cat’ specifically requested the party official to ‘shut me up’. To him, I was/am a thorn in the side. The Maltese expletives attributed to me are crude to reproduce here. The party official promised to oblige and assured him that he/she would be taking the matter into his/her hands.”

Buttigieg questioned whether there was an agreement to silence him. “What was the going rate for such a betrayal? Thirty pieces of silver? Is this the price I had to pay for standing up to be counted?...

“Was this unelected official attending on his/her own personal initiative or was he/she representing the party? Was the party leader and administration aware of such a meeting and did they approve? Will this episode dent further the party’s credibility and reinforce a perception that the party is in bed with fat cats?”

Buttigieg’s complaint follows on other complaints by similar mayors, such as the mayor Xagħra, a Labour candidate, who publicly lamented that his “candidacy was killed” due to his criticism of overdevelopment.

“The PN can only be trusted if it becomes a credible alternative party, not if it becomes a split image of the Labour Party,” Buttigieg said, who promised St Julian’s residents he will soldier on despite the scar of betrayal.

“Such brazen disregard prompted me to undergo some soul-searching, reflecting on the reasons why I was given the cold shoulder.”