Second PN deputy leader contender told not to run at eleventh hour

Josianne Cardona Gatt was moments away from filing her nomination when she was advised by a trusted PN employee on the sensitivity of the deputy leadership election

The Nationalist Party was heading for a real election for its deputy leader back in July, when a party candidate decided she would take up the challenge to run for the coveted post of second-in-command by Bernard Grech’s side. 

It was former PN councillor for Birkirkara, Josianne Cardona Gatt (pictured) who collected a nomination form from the party’s electoral commission to put her name forward for the PN’s deputy leadership, heading into an election with Alex Perici Calascione. 

But the lawyer, a regular election candidate for the PN, was dissuaded from filing the nomination at the eleventh hour, as she entered into the PN headquarters in Pietà. MaltaToday understands that Cardona Gatt was “spoken to” by a trusted PN employee, who advised her on the sensitivity of the PN’s deputy leadership election. 

Cardona Gatt’s interest for the PN role was kept under wraps, after she humbly accepted to park her political ambitions so that Grech could have former 2017 leadership contender Perici Calascione, by his side for the coming years. 

Perici Calascione was the only candidate who showed an interest in the post and could submit his nomination after he was cleared by the party following a due diligence process.

Perici Calascione, 60, previously occupied the role of president of the PN executive and had also been the party treasurer. He was a candidate in the last general election and also contested the European Parliament election in 2009.