PN decides to back Coleiro Preca’s nomination

Opposition’s parliamentary group decides to vote in favour of Marie Louise Coleiro Preca’s nomination as President.

The PN parliamentary group has voted to back Marie Louise Coleiro Preca's nomination for President of the Republic
The PN parliamentary group has voted to back Marie Louise Coleiro Preca's nomination for President of the Republic

Nationalist MPs are set to unanimously approve Marie Louise Coleiro Preca’s after the Nationalist Party’s parliamentary group decided to back the Prime Minister’s nomination.

During a meeting held on Monday afternoon, Nationalist MPs decided to vote in favour of the motion proposing Coleiro Preca to become Malta’s ninth President.

The vote on Coleira Preca’s nomination is expected to be taken in parliament by the beginning of April.

PN leader Simon Busuttil has consistently called on Muscat to appoint a new president from the Nationalist camp, however the prime minister ruled this out, opting instead for a trusted MP from his own camp.

The Constitution stipulates that the President “shall be appointed by Resolution of the House of Representatives” and although this only requires a simple majority, it is customary for prime ministers to consult the leader of the opposition

Last week, PN leader Simon Busuttil said he wasn’t consulted by Muscat, protesting that he was presented with a fait accompli, however the PN has now decided to back the nomination.

Had the PN decided to vote against or abstain Coleiro Preca’s nomination it would have risked appearing parochial and isolate itself from the wider electorate.

The decision to back the appointment of the Qormi MP who enjoyed the approval of 40% of PN voters in the latest MaltaToday survey on ministers’ ratings, seems to be a sensible one, especially since she will be replacing a President who was also unanimously approved as Head of State.

Moreover, the President’s role is highly ceremonial and should be a symbol of unity rather than the tribal divide which is tangible in all levels of governance in Malta.

In 2009, current President George Abela had also been approved unanimously by both sides of the House.

However, three MPs who openly opposed the former Labour deputy leader’s appointment, namely former Nationalist MP Jeffrey Pullicino
Orlando, former Labour Prime Minister Alfred Sant and current foreign affairs minister George Vella, chose not to attend the parliamentary session.

Two other MPs, Nationalist MP Mario Galea, Labour MP Silvio Parnis, were also absent, with Galea being indisposed and Parnis busy presenting his television programme on Smash TV.