President Abela justified in asking if Prime Minister has a majority – JPO, Debono

Pullicino Orlando does not see himself remaining a member of the party if RCC is not expelled.

President George Abela.
President George Abela.

Defiant as ever, backbencher Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando has said that he feels the President of the Republic would be justified in calling the Prime Minister to see if he has a majority after Franco Debono's comments.

President George Abela left for Lima, Peru last week on missionary work, even though he was fully aware of the serious political crisis.

Pullicino Orlando added: "Personally speaking, I will find it very hard to remain a member of the Nationalist Party if the Executive Committee does not expel Richard Cachia Caruana after next Tuesday's meeting. I feel that the irrefutable evidence that I will be presenting gives the Committee more than enough grounds to do so."

This exclusive comment to MaltaToday came after the newspaper asked him for his comments after Thursday's executive decision.

Franco Debono echoed Pullicino Orlando's thoughts to MaltaToday and said that the President should definitely call on the Prime Minister to see if he has a majority. "It's obvious that the President is justified in calling on to the Prime Minister to see that he has a majority in parliament. I have long been telling the prime minister to call an election," Debono said.

He added that the prime minister should not take merit for the country's economic results, when "everything else failed."

"Is Malta a tax haven or a money-laundering haven?" he quipped.

On Saturday, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando was busy sending off e-mails in reply to the request by the president of the Nationalist Party's executive to give a detailed explanation of his accusations against former permanent represenattive Richard Cachia Caruana. Pullicino Orlando explained that Cachia Caruana exerted pressure on former Labour minister Joe Mizzi to replace the head of the Security Services.

Pullicino Orlando also claimed Joe Mizzi implicated Cachia Caruana "in a clear case of criminal interference with the course of justice in relation to a cocaine party organised by individuals who were close to Cachia Caruana".

Later, Cachia Caruana announced he will be instituting a criminal libel against Joe Mizzi.

PN executive committee president Marthese Portelli, who had to cut her holiday to Paris short, replied that Pullicino Orlando was acting in "bad faith" because the Zebbug MP did not follow the agreed procedure regarding the hearing of his case against Cachia Caruana.

In a counter-reply, Pullicino Orlando said: "I referred to a public declaration by Joe Mizzi in relation to Mr Cachia Caruana with very serious allegations in an attempt at abiding with what you asked for. It is pertinent to note that Mizzi made these allegations 48 hours ago on a television programme which he was participating in, together with [PN Whip] David Agius."

Earlier on, Pullicino Orlando was asked about the PN decision to ban him from contesting with the party.

He replied: "The decision taken by the PN Executive Committee last Thursday did not affect me in the least. I had already declared that I was not going to contest the forthcoming general elections seven months ago.

"I did so notwithstanding repeated requests by high-ranking officials of the party to re-contest. I had explained to the prime minister that the main reason I had taken this decision was Richard Cachia Caruana's overbearing influence on the Nationalist Party and the government." 

On what he described as "an escalation of the state of affairs", Pullicino Orlando said that he was "expecting the party to escalate things after certain declarations made by the Prime Minister recently. I cannot understand why I was not given the opportunity to present my case with regards to Mr Cachia Caruana's expulsion first. I am convinced that there are enough grounds for Mr Cachia Caruana to be expelled and I feel that that will justify the way I voted in parliament."

Asked about his consistent declaration that Cachia Caruana was behind attacks on the blogs, he added: "I know for a fact that Cachia Caruana is behind the vile blog attacks by Mrs Daphne Caruana Galizia on a number of PN politicians who he perceives as not being subservient to him. Guido de Marco, John Dalli, Robert Arrigo, Jesmond Mugliett, Jean Pierre Farrugia, Robert Musumeci and their families have all been targeted in this disgusting manner.

"The aim is obviously to either intimidate those targeted into submission or to dent their credibility with the general public.  I know that Cachia Caruana instigates these vile attacks because Mrs Caruana Galizia told me so herself, and I have declared this under oath in Court."

Questioned by MaltaToday about why he needed to resort to security and whether this may have been an over-reaction, Pullicino Orlando said that he had been offered security "after a number of credible threats aimed both at me and my family. I obviously accepted. These threats are related to my actions in parliament. I am sorry to say that I was justified in taking security personnel with me to last Thursday's meeting given the individuals who were gathered in front of the PN headquarters, many of whom have a criminal record".

In his criminal libel proceedings, Cachia Caruana argued that "Joe Mizzi's allegations are unfounded, false and tarnish my reputation and are thus libellous".

The police report was signed by lawyer Joe Zammit Maempel. One News editor Kurt Farrugia was also sued for criminal libel.


Briffy you are either naive or deceitful. The power vested in each MP is derived from his oath of office swearing allegiance towards the Constitution and towards the Republic. As such they represent the interest of the whole country in their best of judgement.And by the whole country read every citizen whether blue or red or any other shade for that matter. This "allegiance to the party" crap is a whole lot of bull repeated only by those who do not want to listen or understand.
It is wrong for the President to abandon Malta during this period of undeclared, but real, parliamentary crisis. The well known 3 PN members of Parliament have been fighting tooth and nail to restore democracy within their own party. In practice, it was seriously claimed that the democratic process had been usurped by a ruling clique of old established families that had grown fat and rich on the pickings their snouts continuously picked up. All this against Malta's best interests, especially as these ruling cliques mismanaged the economy no end. All that interested them was fattening their own and their sycophants pockets. Get out of Parliament before the situation escalates really seriously.
Verament ghandna zewg vavi fil-Parlament, JPO u FD!! Jew jghaddi taghhom jew isabbtu saqajhom u jhammbtu rashom mal-mejda! Ezatt kif jaghmlu l-vavi! JPO ghax jaf li m'ghandux provi fuq RCC u ghalhekk l-ezekuttiv tal-PN mhux ser ikecci lil RCC, allura se jikkonsidra ruhhu mhux aktar fil-Partit! Ser jaqsam il-kamra jew ser jitlob siggu fejn l-iskrivan tal-kamra..biex ikun fin-nofs ezatt!! Veru Vavati!!
We are fed up with all this cespit politics; if Dr Gonzi wants to end his political career into the abbyss, its his choice, but please don't drag the rest of the country down with you! Enough is enough!
The only way to bridge this impasse is for JPO and FD to give up their seats in the House. They are not representing the people who voted them in, they are not behaving in line with the policy of the party on whose ticket they were elected, they are just representing themselves. They seem to be in collusion with the opposition and determined to inflict maximum damage to their (erstwhile) party. The sooner they do this the better for all of us.