'PN will never turn into another Labour', Chris Said vows

In a press conference this morning, Chris Said claimed that the Nationalist Party should never turn into a Labour party, but instead focus on its core principles and values

Chris Said speaking at a press conference outside the Parliament building this morning
Chris Said speaking at a press conference outside the Parliament building this morning

The Nationalist Party should never sell its soul and should not bow to pressure to turn into a Labour Party, but should instead focus on its core principles and values, PN leadership contender Chris Said said this morning. 

Said, who was addressing a press conference in front of parliament in Valletta, said that the Labour Party did not want him to become PN leader because it knew there was nothing it could use to attack his integrity. 

"The only time there was the slightest doubt in my regard, I resigned immediately from Lawrence Gonzi's cabinet, even though he insisted I did not need to and even though my decision meant that I gave up my ministerial pension," he said. 

He noted that every party goes through moments of considerable tension, particularly when electing its leaders. 

"The PN is now at a crossroads and this decision is very important for party members, following two huge electoral defeats," he said. "This decision will not only dictate the future of the PN but also that of the country."

Said said one of the proposals for the party's future was "the right way" he was proposing. 

"With me at the helm of the PN we will continue to affirm our party's values and identity," he said. "Our members need to understand that these are the values that make the PN."

Said insisted the party should not give in to pressure and turn its back on all the PN had managed to achieve throughout the years. 

He said he wanted the Nationalist opposition in parliament to be a pro-active one that helps to improve the standard of living of every man and woman. 

"There is pressure today to do what Labour did, to become like Labour and do anything for the sake of votes," he said. "But I want to make it clear that with me as leader the PN will not merely go with the flow because that would lead to us sinking."

Said wished Adrian Delia good luck in the upcoming election and thanked Alex Perici Calascione and Frank Portelli for their contribution and participation in the campaign. 

"I believe many silent party members wish to see the party leadership selected on merits of the candidate's work ethic and integrity," he said. 

"I will not be joining forces with Labour and I will pursue our fight against corruption as I have always done."

He said other people had chosen to wait for the PN to lose the election before accepting to embark on a new adventure. But, he added, politics is not an adventure, it is a calling and a mission.

"Others chose to abdicate any form of responsibility, even when they were asked to participate," he said. 

Said said that ultimately, the new leader could not be sidetracked by continuous attacks on his integrity. 

"That is why the Labour party would prefer that I not become leader because they know they have nothing to attack me about," he said. 

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