Democratic Party coalition agreement with PN 'no longer stands'

Democratic Party MPs are not being invited to the Nationalist Party parliamentary group meetings

Democratic Party leader Anthony Buttigieg says his MPs have to go it alone
Democratic Party leader Anthony Buttigieg says his MPs have to go it alone

A pre-electoral agreement that saw Democratic Party candidates elected on the Nationalist Party ticket no longer stands, according to the new PD leader.

Anthony Buttigieg has told TimesTalk, a production of the Times of Malta, that the pre-election deal was for a government coalition.

“We are in opposition, so in effect, post-election, you could say the agreement no longer stands,” he said.

Buttigieg was elected leader last month to replace Marlene Farrugia, who is one of two MPs elected on behalf of PD in the last election. The other MP is her partner Godfrey Farrugia.

Buttigieg said his party’s two MPs were not attending meetings of the PN parliamentary group because they were not being invited.

In these circumstances, he said it was difficult for the PD to honour the pre-electoral agreement by working closely with the PN.

“We are trying to honour that agreement, but if they are not being allowed to honour it, they can only work on their own, as PD representatives,” Buttigieg said.

The coalition agreement had been former PN leader Simon Busuttil’s brainchild. Busuttil had negotiated the deal, including the inclusion of PD candidates on the PN list, on his own, earning him internal criticism.

Marlene Farrugia was elected on District 10 on her own steam and Godfrey Farrugia made it on District 7 in a casual election for the seat vacated by Beppe Fenech Adami.

Many within the PN blamed Busuttil for the loss of two parliamentary seats to the junior coalition partner. After the election, the relationship between the PN and PD grew cold, especially in the wake of Adrian Delia’s election as leader.