New PN MP joins call for Simon Busuttil to stay on as leader

New PN MP Jean Pierre Debono urges Simon Busuttil to reverse his decision to resign as party leader

New PN MP Jean Pierre Debono said that Simon Busuttil should stay on as party leader
New PN MP Jean Pierre Debono said that Simon Busuttil should stay on as party leader

One of the Nationalist Party’s two newly-elected MPs has lent his name to a growing internal call for Simon Busuttil to stay on as PN leader.

Jean Pierre Debono, who was until recently also the PN’s assistant secretary general, said on Facebook that Busuttil should reverse his decision to resign as party leader.

“Simon Busuttil must stay on as PN leader. That is the cry on everybody’s lips. I fully support Simon Busuttil as leader of the PN.”

 

His status was shared by fellow PN MP Jason Azzopardi, who had served as shadow justice minister in Busuttil’s shadow cabinet.

Simon Busuttil announced that he, along with the entire party leadership, will be stepping down and will not recontest their posts after the PN’s crushing electoral defeat last week. He later said that the PN’s executive will open nominations for the new leadership in the coming weeks and that the list will be narrowed down to two by the PN’s general council made up of over 1,500 officials.

The two final contenders will then face off in an election in September, that all PN paying members will be eligible to vote in.

However, several PN supporters have publicly urged Simon Busuttil to reconsider his decision to step down after only four years at the helm of the party.

PN MP Robert Arrigo said that returning the PN to government was always going to be a long-term project and not merely a four year one.

“Yes, the PN needs tweaking and this can only be positive, but the seeds are sown. Taking the seeds off and starting from scratch is definitely a no go.”

Fellow MP Claudette Buttigieg, who had served as shadow health minister under Busuttil, said that the outgoing leader had managed to make it “cool” to be Nationalist once more.

“He went from a party leader to a truly inspiring national leader,” she wrote in the Malta Independent. “He brought back hope to the party grassroots but, even more, to the country.”

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