Update 2 | Adrian Delia's chosen: Block vote for PN executive election

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia tries to strengthen his grip on the party as supporters organise a block vote for next Saturday's executive council elections

The PN executive election block vote organised by leader Adrian Delia's supporters
The PN executive election block vote organised by leader Adrian Delia's supporters

A list of nine men and nine women who support PN leader Adrian Delia is making the rounds among party councillors, who will choose 18 members of the executive in an election next Saturday, MaltaToday is informed.

The list also includes the name of MP Kristy Debono, who is contesting the post of general council president in a face-off with former veteran MP Censu Galea.

The list of males includes those of Pierre Portelli, the former director of content at The Malta Independent, and failed leadership candidate Alex Perici Calascione. It also includes three Net TV personalities, journalists Mario Frendo and Robert Cremona and presenter Jerome Caruana Cilia.

Former MP Jean Pierre Debono, who gave up his parliamentary seat so that Delia could take up his, is also on the list.

The list of females includes Perici Calascione's daughter, Veronica Perici Calascione, and Net TV personalities Louise Tedesco, Claire MIfsud and Lisa Spiteri. The sister of failed leadership candidate Frank Portelli, Evelyn Vella Brincat, also features on the list.

The election among the general council members is expected to be held on 4 November, with early voting taking place on 28 October.

The councillors will have to elect 18 members to the executive from a list of 59 candidates, which, surprisingly includes no Gozitans.

Alex Perici Calascione and Kristy Debono react

In a Facebook post Perici Calascione has insisted that he has never "instigated, planned or worked to be in or part of any block vote list or practise" in any of the executive elections he took part in.

"Although block voting (whether in a refined or in a crass manner) is and has invariably long been present in all internal political party contests, I am personally against this practise. It is not my way of doing things," Perici Calascione wrote.

Replying to his post, Mark Anthony Sammut, who also appears on the Delia block vote, agreed with Perici Calascione's statements. "I perfectly share your sentiments," Sammut wrote.

In another Facebook post in the afternoon, MP Kristy Debono denied rumours she was behind any block vote. She said that over the past few days she witnessed several block votes doing the rounds, some with her name on it and others without.

With reference to the list produced by MaltaToday, Debono said this omitted several people that she intended to support with her vote.

"I do not endorse that or any other list. It is very clear that certain people feel the need to continue their spin to damage the party," she wrote, adding her appeal for PN members to work together to consolidate the party.