[WATCH] Delia’s publication of tax returns on election eve ‘too little too late’ says Said

Combative Chris Said says Adrian Delia lacked transparency on tax returns and how he plans to assume parliamentary seat 

Chris Said (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Chris Said (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Delia’s publication of tax returns on election eve ‘too little too late’ says Said

The publication of Adrian Delia’s audited tax returns on the eve of the PN’s leadership election was too little, too late, rival contender and Nationalist MP Chris Said has said.

Speaking at a press conference in the PN’s Pietà club, Said said that while he had nothing to hide, “publishing tax returns on the eve of an election doesn’t make any sense since it won’t give people enough time to evaluate them adequately.”

Said also revealed that he asked the PN commission to vet the incoming candidates prior to the start of the campaign.

“I believe in the kind of politics where people resign as soon as they have allegations against them,” Said said.

He compared Delia’s decision to release his audited returns public close to the election to that of Labour minister Konrad Mizzi, who was caught up in the Panama scandal. “In both cases, I wish there was clarity from the start,” Said said.

Said also said that Delia was obliged to explain to voters how he intended to take up a seat in parliament if elected Opposition leader, since an MP will have to vacate his seat without a casual election taking place for Delia to assume a place in the House.

“Delia should have outlined how he plans to get into parliament from the start of the campaign. Instead, people were left to speculate about the various ways that the lawyer can take his place.

“With him, the party faces a new problem: how is he going to take his seat? They don’t face that problem with my election. It’s not enough to talk about a new way, if we don’t build a new way without integrity.”

Said even compared Delia’s election to the election of former Labour prime minister Alfred Sant, who like promised a new way, only to lose his power in just 22 months of government. “I had a choice. I could build on people’s anger at our last election loss, but I felt that all I would be doing would be to instil further anger,” Said argued.

“Perhaps my anger would have made the election more exciting,” he said. “But I am my own man. I’m not Simon Busuttil, I have my own style, my own ideas, that are not influenced by my predecessor,” he stated. 

“The PN’s agenda will not be dictated by anyone,” Said continued. “We can react to independent journalists’ comments, but we must be wary not to let our agenda be swayed by them.”

While conceding that both development and technology were prospering under the current administration, he stated that a long-term analysis of the Maltese economy was still needed.

“As leader, I’ll be looking forward to give priority to our economy so that when the next election comes round PN will have a detailed analysis ready,” he said.

Answering questions from MaltaToday, Said claimed that the PN was still being tempted to become like the Labour party.

“Under Labour, people in the PN were ready to resort to violence to win again, just as Labour did in the 1970s. Labour threw away its values a long time ago, and stands only for people who have their personal interest at heart.”