Alex Perici Calascione touted as favourite for PN deputy leader post

Former PN executive committee president Alex Perici Calascione is ‘very seriously considering’ running for the party’s deputy leadership post

Alex Perici Calascione
Alex Perici Calascione

Alex Perici Calascione is being touted as favourite to contest the Nationalist Party’s deputy leadership election, MaltaToday has learnt.

Interested contenders must submit an expression of interest by noon on Saturday, and with the deadline fast approaching it remains unclear how many applications – if any – will be submitted. 

Perici Calascione told MaltaToday he was “very seriously considering” running for the post.

“In the past couple of weeks, but especially this week, many people whom I trust implicitly have contacted me directly and encouraged me to run,” he said. 

“I was already aware of my name being bandied about as a possible deputy leader, but to hear the same thing from people I know and trust, made me stop and seriously consider where I stand.”

Those pushing Perici Calascione to contest insist he brings a lot to the table, quoting his past as PN treasurer and president of the executive committee as proof of his standing within the party and his experience in the field. Perici Calascione had contested the 2017 leadership election and was also an MEP candidate.

But, even more importantly, many are insisting that the PN needs a deputy leader from outside the parliamentary group so that he or she will be able to focus primarily on party affairs.

Other names have been mentioned as possible contenders, including Graziella Galea, newly elected to parliament. Some chatter on social media said Bernard Grech might be keen on the idea of the PN having a female deputy leader and Galea was cited as a possible contender.

Galea did not exclude the possibility in comments to Times of Malta earlier this week. She could not be contacted today.

Janice Chetcuti was another MP mentioned for the role but has ruled out the possibility in comments she gave Lovin Malta.

It remains unclear what the current deputy leader David Agius will do. He has not pronounced himself and attempts to contact him today proved futile.

Many other MPs flat out confirmed they would not be contesting the post. 

And among the newly-elected MPs, the general consensus seemed to be that they did not yet have enough experience to fill such an important role.

Justin Schembri, elected to parliament on the eighth district told MaltaToday that he might possibly be interested in the post, but only down the road.

“I think that at this particular moment, with the party going from two deputy leaders to one, the post requires someone with more experience who could really make a difference,” he said.

Following Saturday’s deadline, the party’s apparatus will then carry out due diligence on all applicants before they can officially submit their candidature. The general council will then vote, with candidates needing a majority of 50% plus one vote to secure the election.