Robert Arrigo hurt and sidelined: 'They told me I was only capable of fundraising'

Outgoing deputy leader Robert Arrigo says he's unaware of the reasons why he was sidelined by the party

Robert Arrigo
Robert Arrigo

In his final speech as PN deputy leader, Robert Arrigo said he was deeply hurt by the party, claiming he was told that he was only capable of fundraising.

“They told me I was only capable of fundraising. Well I did fundraise a lot of money and I have done so till the very last day,” Arrigo said.

Visibly emotional, Arrigo stressed that he was not aware of the reasons why he was sidelined. “I was hurt - yes – a lot. I was hurt as I was not aware of why I was sidelined,” Arrigo said.

He said that during the last electoral campaign, a certain Mario Degiorgio restricted him from going up to the first floor of Zabbar's PN club, and in Sliema, Emvin Bartolo told him he was not allowed on the stage.

Arrigo still said it was a privilege to serve as the party's deputy leader. “I wanted to thank you all personally. It was a pleasant experience – an honour that I never thought I would have,” Arrigo said.

“These things should never happen. Never again. We can’t accept those things if we want to bring the party back on its feet […] Don’t blame the people that went on Facebook to say similar things. They are right.”

He highlighted his success in the previous and past elections, saying that on his districts, only Dom Mintoff and Evarist Bartolo had ever managed to get more votes than him.

He addressed the newly elected Deputy Leader, Alex Perici Calascione. “Please be your own man, please do it right.”

“We will not succeed if we don’t accept that we have made mistakes. Some things have taken a turn for the worst. We need to see to it and fix things - do it as fast as you can Alex,” Arrigo said. He never referred to PN leader Bernard Grech in his speech.

Despite his controversial comments, the room still erupted in applause for Arrigo, as he stepped down from the podium.