Simon Busuttil calls on de Marco to stand for deputy leader

Simon Busuttil attempts to dissuade others from standing for deputy leader • Beppe Fenech adamant to stand for deputy leader

Mario de Marco: he commanded 38% of the PN's general council's vote
Mario de Marco: he commanded 38% of the PN's general council's vote

PN leader-elect Simon Busuttil is doing his utmost to convince the runner-up in the leadership contest, Mario de Marco, to stand for the vacant deputy leadership post.

However, De Marco is reluctant to put his name in the hat unless he is uncontested. This makes the possibility of him becoming Busuttil's right hand man highly unlikely.

After earning 38.5% of the PN councillors' vote on Saturday, de Marco decided to concede defeat to Busuttil, who garnered just over 50% of the vote.

Minutes after holding a dignified speech at the end of the first round of the leadership contest, de Marco said he would not be submitting his name for the deputy leadership election to be held later this month.

MaltaToday is informed that Busuttil has since met de Marco in an attempt to convince the latter to enter the fray; however the runner-up in the leadership race made it clear that he would only submit his candidature if he is uncontested.

Having earned more than a third of the PN councillors' vote on Saturday and with polls showing that de Marco enjoys a clear lead over Busuttil in terms of the wider electorate, Busuttil cannot run the risk of alienating de Marco or his supporters.

However, the success of Busuttil's plan now hinges on the withdrawal of MPs interested in the deputy leadership post, most notably Beppe Fenech Adami.

Busuttil's efforts to dissuade Fenech Adami, son of former PN leader and party patriarch Eddie Fenech Adami, from contesting the election seem to have failed, with the MP confirming that he will run for the post.

Speaking to MaltaToday, MPs Beppe Fenech Adami and Claudette Buttigieg, who had already declared their interest in running for the post well before Saturday's election, both confirmed that they will be contesting the election.

"As already announced, I will be running for the deputy leadership post," Fenech Adami affirmed.

Likewise, Buttigieg said that she would be contesting and although she was monitoring the situation nothing had changed since she declared that she would enter the race.

To avert a situation in which de Marco is sidelined and not involved in the party leadership, the idea to have two deputy leaders is being floated. This could see de Marco refraining from contesting the 25 May contest and take up the new post at a later stage

Another alternative being explored by Busuttil is that of convincing Fenech Adami to take a step back in the deputy leadership contest and have him installed as PN secretary-general.

The PN secretary-general is elected from the party's executive committee and popular Gozitan MP Chris Said has already declared that he would be contesting the post.

The election to replace outgoing secretary-general Paul Borg Olivier will be held on 5 June.

In the first couple of days since become leader-elect, Busuttil has also met the other two leadership contenders; Francis Zammit Dimech and Raymond Bugeja, where he expressed his desire to have them involved in the party structures.

Bugeja, a financial consultant and entrepreneur, is being earmarked for a central role in the management of the party's commercial entities. 

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I suspect that with this move Simon is trying to soothe the wounds PN has. Mario must be careful that he won't just be a figure head.
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MISKIN!! IRID LILL-MARIO BIEX JIKKONTESTA WARA LI GAB BISS PHOTOFINISH TA' 50.3% IRID LILL-MARIO SABIEX JAGHLAQLU HALQU.
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So this is called a Gimmick a la Simon Grocer.
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Emmanuel Mallia
Simple Simon has thus, anointed De Marco ! And so it will be. That is what happens at PN, voting is just a formality, everything is per-arranged, including their internal, so called elections !
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Ha! Ha! Ha! Hilarious! Two Deputy leaders! Why should Dr Fenech Adami and Claudette withdraw from the race? They are more valid as prospective candidates than Dr Busuttil! Dr Busuttil should decline the position of leader of the PN, even if he obtains the necessary two-thirds. Sincerely, this is the beginning of the end for the PN - the majority of PN voters are livid with Dr Busuttil and I am fast beginning to think that perhaps he is "simple Simon" as people so cruelly call him - one thing is for sure, he has a strange way of thinking/reasoning....The problem is YOU not Dr Fenech Adami - Beppe was one of the names being widely mentioned with Dr Demarco to take over the helm of the party. I do not think they should be excluded because of their fathers...Very often it is actually more difficult to win people over when you are following in the footsteps of such brilliant ex-leaders. Dr Busuttil, I appeal to you on behalf of all TRUE Nationalists, re-consider what you are doing. You will go down in history as the man who wrecked the PN and kept them in opposition for.....10, 15, 20 years....or longer!
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I think a Busuttil and Demarco duo whould make a fine team, however Beppe and Claudette are also very very good alternatives.
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If Demarco fails on his attempt at deputy leader he will be humiliated beyond recognition and should resign from the PN.
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Jekk dan hu minnhu Simon qed jibza li ma igibx it 2/3 tal voti u biex igib dawn 2/3 hemm bzonn dawk il voti ta Demarco.
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Beppe Fenech Adami ghandu igib il-gid tal-Partit l-ewwel u jhalli l-Dr Marco ghal Vici Kap. Dan il-Partit ma jistax jibqa' ikattar firda bejn kandidati u ohrajn. Ikun ta' gid ghall-partit jekk Mario Demarco joqghod Vici Kap ma' Simon Busuttil u hekk biss tista' titkattar l-aqghda fil-partit. Dan bhal ma kieku John Dalli qad Vici Kap ma' Lawrence Gonzi fit-2004 kieku l-partit baqa hafna iktar b'sahhti u maqghud. Beppe Fenech Adami ghandu jaghraf li hemm bzonn li ghall-gid tal-partit huwa ma jikkontestax u jhalli lil Mario Vici Kap. HADD mhuwa ikbar mill-Partit Beppe
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Mela Busullotti diga qed jibza li se jkun, anzi se jibqa flop? Dan bhal meta iffacjah Franco Debono u Busullotti baqa gol-aquarium qiesu tigiega imxarba, imwerwer mill- presenza ta' Franco. Jekk tal-pn qatt m'ghamlu zball daqshekk evidenti, ghamluh issa. Ibqaw zguri lil dan Busullotti qatt u qatt mhu se jkun prim ministru.
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Simon Busuttil seems to have finally understood that his name is no longer a winning card for the PN, and that names like Beppe Fenech Adami and Claudette Buttigieg will not give the boost the PN needs. But in publicly declaring his stand he is telling us all that the party is not that great pool of talent it has always given the public to understand. Why does he not also ask ex minister George Pullicino to join his inner team?
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Emmanuel Mallia
A perfect duo, with an old fashioned, conservative, cunning, outlook ! Straight into the wall, as Simple Simon says !!!!!!!