Busuttil: ‘De Marco going nowhere, no one will dictate PN’s agenda for me’

Simon Busuttil: 'The PN is not a divided party...the country's problem is not Mario de Marco but Joseph Muscat' 

Simon Busuttil with PN deputy leader Mario de Marco
Simon Busuttil with PN deputy leader Mario de Marco

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil dismissed internal calls for the resignation of Mario de Marco, pledging that his deputy leader is “going nowhere” and that “I will not allow anyone to dictate the PN’s agenda for me”.

“Some people have long been trying to create rifts between myself and Mario de Marco and to give the impression that the PN is divided,” Busuttil said during a radio conference organised by the PN’s workers’ section (Solidarjeta Haddiema Partit Nazzjonalista). “I want to make it clear that the PN is not divided, that Mario de Marco is going nowhere, and that I will not allow anyone to dictate the party’s agenda for me.

“The country’s problem is not Mario de Marco but Joseph Muscat.”

Mario de Marco has been under fire in the wake of revelations that he had served as legal advisor to hotelier Silvio Debono during his negotiations with the government in securing a 99-year concession on the ITS land.

PN candidate and former TV host Salvu Mallia described de Marco as a “dead branch that must be cut off and thrown into the fire”, while fellow candidate David Thake warned de Marco that “you cannot run with the hares and hunt with the hounds”. Malta Independent columnist Daphne Caruana Galziia and several PN supporters on her blog have also repeatedly called for his resignation.

However, Busuttil said that he was satisfied with de Marco’s reaction to the controversy, particularly after he went on air on Friday evening to say he was sorry for having hurt the sentiment of party supporters over his role as Debono’s advisor.

In his interview, Busuttil also said that the PN will in the coming days release a policy document that will propose long-term solutions to Malta’s traffic problems, including a tram or light railway system.

“We will release the full details soon, but we want it to be such an efficient system that it will no longer pay people to use their private cars as the new transport system will get them to their destination in less time.”

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