PN split would be ‘dark page for democracy’, Perici Calascione warns

Former PN leadership candidate says Delia’s call for Busuttil’s resignation ‘awkward’ echo of Joseph Muscat’s demand

Alex Perici Calascione
Alex Perici Calascione

Former PN leadership candidate Alex Perici Calascione has said Opposition leader Adrian Delia’s request for his predecessor to resign “dangerously risks” undermining party unity.

Perici Calascione, who was treasurer of the party under leader Simon Busuttil, has said that in the aftermath of the Egrant inquiry, Delia had echoed the request of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in demanding Busuttil’s resignation.

Busuttil had endorsed the allegation published by the late journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia that Muscat was the owner of the secret company Egrant, before the matter went to a duty magistrate for investigation.

“Are we no to expel people from the party, a former leader to boot, for unsuccessful political strategies?” Perici Calascione asked in a column penned for The Times.

“The issue it not about Delia’s position as leader. This is undisputed…. This is about the somewhat inexplicable and disturbing echoing of Muscat’s call for Busuttil’s’ expulsion from the party.”

The PN’s parliamentary group is now in the throes of a rebellion from MPs loyal to Busuttil who are actively mounting a bid to oust Adrian Delia from PN leader.

Delia, a political outsider who has never occupied any post in the PN, had been asked to withdraw his candidature by the PN’s administrative council in 2017, over reports by Daphne Caruana Galizia and MaltaToday on his role as a corporate secretary to an alleged London brothel owner. Busuttil endorsed the council’s request. But Delia refused and went on to become PN leader.

Now the administrative council, since then changed with members loyal to Delia, has supported Delia’s call to ask Busuttil to resign from the parliamentary group.

Perici Calascione said the prospect of a split between MPs would “mark a dark page in the development and ongoing guarantee of democracy our country”.

“And tomorrow, the inexorable judgement of history upon all of us will be severe and will not be subject to appeal or revision. The opportunity is still there. It is beyond any doubt that together we stand stronger.”

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