PN election sees Saturday night drama

PN internal vote is marred by drama after claims that MP Herman Schiavone was given privileged access to electoral commission’s live data. Commission denies the accusation, insisting everybody had visual access to its laptops

MP Kristy Debono was elected PN general council president last Saturday
MP Kristy Debono was elected PN general council president last Saturday

The Nationalist Party electoral commission has denied that MP Herman Schiavone was given a live-feed as the results of internal elections rolled in on Saturday night.

Angelito Sciberras, a commission member who replaced the indisposed chief electoral commissioner last Saturday, told MaltaToday that nobody had any outside access to the 11 laptops used during the vote counting process.

Party sources said that rumours were swirling on the night that Schiavone was given some form of privileged access to the commission’s data.

PN administrative council president Karol Aquilina even confronted Sciberras about the matter. Observers said this was followed by a commotion.

When contacted Aquilina insisted any questions should be directed to the party. “I have no comment to make,” he told MaltaToday this morning.

However, Sciberras denied any wrongdoing. “The laptops were connected together via a closed network and each had their wi-fi disabled. Nobody could have had a live feed to the system as alleged but anybody inside the counting hall had visual access to the computers,” he insisted.

He said the PN secretary general Rosette Thake was present throughout the night on the electoral commission’s desk where the totals were trickling in. “She also had visual access to the results,” Sciberras added.

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Sciberras said it was normal practice that the leader’s office was kept abreast of developments. He admitted that Schiavone was the person liaising with Adrian Delia and screenshots of the commission’s laptop were being sent via WhatsApp to his phone.

“Herman Schiavone was receiving photos of the commission’s main laptop via WhatsApp but the information was the same as that anybody in the counting hall could see,” Sciberras said.

Last Saturday PN councillors voted to elect the general council president and 18 members of the executive.

MP Kristy Debono was elected president of the general council after beating veteran Censu Galea by a mere 16 votes.