Chris Said: ‘Labour wants me to lose leadership election’

Unveiling a new theme for his electoral campaign, Chris Said says the PN should be able to criticise ‘Muscat’s Labour without being accused of doing the same’

PN leadership contender Chris Said
PN leadership contender Chris Said

The Labour Party want him to lose the Nationalist Party’s leadership election because they know he won’t feel uncomfortable criticising Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, candidate Chris Said has declared.

“With my integrity, I can look Muscat in the eye and accuse him of what I’m not. That’s why the Labour Party is doing its utmost to ensure I don’t win the leadership contest. They know, that with me as leader, the Nationalist Party will not deal with them with kids’ gloves,” Said said in a statement released on Tuesday morning.

“If the Nationalist Party feels uncomfortable criticizing Muscat, then we can only expect one thing – an even more empowered Labour in government treating people as if there is no end to its stay in power. I will never allow this to happen.”

In his press release, Said unveiled his new theme “#TheRightWay” as the election enters its second phase – bearing a similarity to Adrian Delia’s “a new way”.

In his statement, Said makes sure to deliver home the message that there’s nothing that could stop him from criticising Labour, before later adding that he doesn’t want “a Nationalist Party facing Muscat or Chris Cardona with the trepidation that they know something that should remain untold.”

Cardona was recently thrust into the limelight again, along with Delia, over reports that the two had resigned as directors of a Bahamas-registered company, Healey Properties.

“I don’t want the Nationalist Party to be unable to criticize Muscat’s Labour because it can easily be accused of doing the same thing. I don’t want the Nationalist Party to spend the next five years defending itself against allegations of wrongdoing, instead of setting the country’s agenda and igniting our people with enthusiasm with its ambitious plans for a better, fairer country,” Said said.

He went on to add that, during his five years as a Cabinet member, Labour had tried, but failed, to find anything that could “potentially embarrass” him.

“But they found none, and they will not find anything. Because the values that guided me in politics are the values I cherish – integrity, honesty and accountability,” he added.

In 2010, then parliamentary secretary, Said stepped down to clear his name in a case of perjury. He was reappointed to the Cabinet, two months later.

“I resigned – against the advice of the Prime Minister himself – cleared my name, and returned to work. No one can say that I was in politics to be served.”

Said, who came second in the preliminary round, will face Delia on September 16.

“The wind is in our sail. Following last Saturday’s first round of elections, my campaign is now empowered with hundreds of new voices calling for the right way. That’s what we must guarantee on 16 September – that the Nationalist Party remains guided by the values upon which it is based, the values that led it to its biggest victories, through which it changed the country’s course and the lives of generations of people.

“I am convinced that our members understand their responsibility. They know what is at stake and they will take the right decision to ensure a strong Nationalist Party that makes us all, once again, proud of who we are.”

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