Grech says PN councillors have called for more internal ‘discipline’ ahead of leadership race

Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech says one cannot have ‘good intentions’ when publicly criticising the party, insisting there are internal structures where these complaints can be heard

PN leader Bernard Grech. Photo: James Bianchi
PN leader Bernard Grech. Photo: James Bianchi

Nationalist leader Bernard Grech said the feedback he has received from party councillors ahead of the leadership election has been on the need for more “discipline” within the PN.

“The feedback has been very positive, with many who spoke to me calling for more discipline. A lot of them have complained on individuals who are using the party for their personal gain,” Grech said.

The Nationalist Party leader was speaking during a phone-in interview with journalist Dione Borg on the party’s radio station NET FM.

Nationalist Party councillors will be confirming Bernard Grech as leader in a vote that will take place on the 27 and 28 May.

Grech, who is contesting the leadership on his own, submitted his nomination two days ago to PN electoral office chief Peter Fenech.

The incumbent had earlier this week been cleared by the party’s candidates commission to run for the post after passing a due diligence exercise.

Grech said one can never have “good intentions” when they go public with their attacks on the party. “There are party structures for these complaints to be heard.”

Ealier this week, St Julian’s mayor Albert Buttigieg claimed in an opinion piece in the Times of Malta that his general election run was sabotaged by an unelected PN official on the request of a 'fat cat'. Buttigieg has refused to name either the official or the businessperson who allegedly made the request despite being asked to substantiate his claims.

Speaking on his time as leader, Grech said in the short time he was at the helm, “much need decisions” were taken.

“I feel proud we were able to organize the party to prepare for the election campaign. We also managed to unite the parliamentary group. But now we need to take the next step - that of fixing the party’s financial issues,” he said.

Grech said he is seeking a strong mandate. “We need to ensure the party’s organs are functioning all year round, not just during an election campaign.”

He said his tenure as leader will be marked with him taking the decisions which need to be taken. “I never hid the party’s problems, and always addressed them.”

“With me at the helm, the party will not only be prepared for the MEP and local council elections, but also the general election,” he said.

Parliament reopening

Earlier this week parliament resumed after the House was dissolved for the general election.

Asked to give his feedback on this week’s parliamentary sessions, Grech said despite losing the election, the party has managed to regenerate itself.

“I enjoy the mix of experience and youth we have in the parliamentary group, as well as the positive energy brought in by new faces,” he said.

On Ukrainian President Volodymyrr Zelenskyy’s address to the House on Monday, Grech said it made him realise the privilege Malta enjoys over Ukraine.

He insisted Malta’s support should be “real” and not be relegated to just messages of hope.

“We need real political will to send a message and ensure no other country is invaded with no apparent reason,” he said.