Adrian Delia gets caught smiling with Muscat’s latest critic: Franco Debono

An old party foe walked up to Opposition leader Adrian Delia...

Friends? Mario de Marco and Adrian Delia, with Franco Debono
Friends? Mario de Marco and Adrian Delia, with Franco Debono

All smiles: the former Nationalist MP Franco Debono has been snapped with Opposition leader Adrian Delia and MP Mario De Marco in Valletta, in what is perhaps the “closest” Debono has ever got to a leader of the party he had repudiated. 

Debono, who in 2012 voted against his own government in a crucial budget vote following an acrimonious split, was later made Commissioner of Laws under the Muscat administration. 

Only recently however, Debono has admitted having been left smarting by the Labour administration over its decision to hand over the reins of a Constitutional reform convention to the outgoing President of the Republic, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca. 

While Debono had clearly fell out with the Gonzi administration and his successor Simon Busuttil, he recently called Joseph Muscat “the most corrupt politician in Maltese history”, taking the PM to task over the allegations that he owned a secret Pananamian company. 

Debono seems to be more at ease with Opposition leader Adrian Delia, who fended off establishment candidates to take the reins of the Nationalist Party. Debono, who at one point toyed with a Labour candidature in 2017, has never ruled out returning to the party that had blocked him from running for the 2013 elections. 

Debono had posted on Facebook alleged text messages of PN supporters who were disappointed at the party’s trouncing in the 2017 elections, calling on him to return to the party. 

Debono was a long-time member of the PN, contesting three general elections under the PN banner before somewhat unexpectedly making it to Parliament in 2008, pipping district heavyweight Louis Galea. 

Ultimately, his split could hardly have been more acrimonious: he ended up voting against the 2013 Budget presented by the PN government, forcing its dissolution. Before this he had joined Labour MPs to ensure Home Affairs Minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici lost a confidence vote, forcing his resignation from Cabinet.  

Debono however had told The Malta Independent that he had left the party. 

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