De Marco justifies public absence after PN critics brandish long knives

On social media, PN deputy leader Mario De Marco – who has had medical problems – has had to answer party critics claiming he is not present enough publicly

PN deputy leader Mario De Marco has said his absence from the public sphere has been due to him recovering from two major surgeries
PN deputy leader Mario De Marco has said his absence from the public sphere has been due to him recovering from two major surgeries

The deputy leader of the Nationalist Party Mario De Marco has taken to Facebook to explain his “absence” from the political sphere, ostensibly in response to renewed commentary from party critics and Malta Independent columnist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

De Marco said his absence from public sphere was in no way due to a lack of commitment towards the PN but due to the fact that he has had to recover from two major surgeries, in what was a response to Caruana Galizia, a journalist who has been a critic of the MP’s late father Guido de Marco, as well as the PN deputy leader.

 “I will be the first to admit that 2015 and 2016 have not been easy years for me for health reasons that I assumed were known to most, but regrettably it seems, not to all. I have undergone two major surgeries, other relatively minor interventions, had to get to grips with a facial paralysis, undertook several MRI scans and visited some eight times the UK for my out-patient appointments,” De Marco wrote.

De Marco said that throughout his medical ordeal, he had attended to the best of his abilities his parliamentary, party and professional duties. Despite requiring surgical tape to hike up an otherwise paralysed side of his mouth, he said he never shied away from his duties or debates.

“I believe in a degree of personal privacy and hoped my sporadic but needed and justified absence would go unnoticed or be understood. Regrettably it seems that this was not the case as evident from recent comments online over the last few days.”

Also writing on Facebook, the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, who has also recently been in the news because of health issues, said he empathised with De Marco.

“I understand and empathize with Mario De Marco and know what he is going through. Some battles are not fought in public. Human dignity is subservient to no one,” Schembri wrote.

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