Next month’s elections a first step in the PN strengthening itself, Delia says

The Nationalist Party launched its electoral campaign on Monday evening promising to fight the present government’s ‘arrogance’

(Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
(Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

May’s local council and European Parliament elections are the first step in the Nationalist Party’s efforts to strengthen itself in order to offer a serious alternative to the present government, party leader Adrian Delia said on Monday.

The PN leader was speaking at the launch of the party’s campaign for the upcoming elections, in which it will be fielding a total of ten candidates for the European Parliament and 295 candidates at local council level.

At the European Parliament, he said the PN’s representatives would continue defending Malta and would work to bring the best investment, funds and initiatives to the country. “They will defend the country and not the government that doesn’t care.”

On a local level, he said it was an opportunity to show how the PN can make a difference and govern at a local level, or, in cases where it does not have a majority, how it can still be there to make proposals.

“We can make a difference,” Delia told those present. “We are not going to be changing the government this coming May, but we can change the direction this government has taken. We are not going to topple the government, but we can fight the arrogance of a government that does not want to listen.”

From left to right: MEP candidates Dione Borg, Michael Briguglio and David Casa. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
From left to right: MEP candidates Dione Borg, Michael Briguglio and David Casa. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

Delia thanked the party’s candidates for their personal sacrifice, insisting that a time when the country’s reputation had been damaged by the government, the PN wanted to drive home the message that Malta was made of people who did not believe in corruption and who simply wanted to live a decent life without fear.  

From students to small businesses, Delia said the country was made of people who believed that if they worked hard, they would move forward in life.,

Turning to the more vulnerable in society, Delia said the PN wanted to stand up for those who were often unheard. “Society has an obligation towards these people,” he said.

He said there were many in society who were struggling with medical conditions and mental health problems, pointing to recent reports about the state of the Mount Carmel Hospital as proof that the government had ignored those who were suffering but allowing them to be treated at a hospital that was not fitting of a modern country.,  

On the environment, Delia insisted that it was possible for the country to developing without its natural heritage being destroyed, insisting that the PN would focus its energy on creating a circular economy.

Delia accused the government of dismantling the foundations of the country’s democracy, as evidenced by “one scientific and serious report after the other”.

MEP candidates Roberta Metsola and Frank Psaila. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
MEP candidates Roberta Metsola and Frank Psaila. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

“The government is ignoring them because it doesn’t  care and can’t see the damage being done to the country and its people,” he insisted.

A united PN, he said, could find solutions to all of these problems, and could halt what he described as the country’s loss of identity.

Delia said it was positive that more foreigners were coming to Malta but stressed that the country could not end up “importing slavery”. In addition to the exploitation of these workers, this, he said, also put local workers in a position where they had to compete with cheap labour.  

United to make the most out of the European project

Speaking ahead of Delia, PN secretary general Clyde Puli appealed for a united PN which he said would be standing against a loss of national identity, values and traditions.

“We must be united to turn the European project into wealth for the Maltese people,” Puli said, insisting that the present administration had destroyed the middle class.

Maltese workers, he said, were being unfairly made to compete with “imported cheap labour” all while the cost of living in country increased.

The country, he said, was facing a number of daily challenges, and would not shy away from discussing difficult subjects like migration or corruption.

Secretary General Clyde Puli. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Secretary General Clyde Puli. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

“We must convince the people that it is not their country’s fault, but the fault of the government’s unsustainable model,” he said.

He said the PN could build a fairer society, and one which created wealth for the many and not just the few.

Puli said that among the party’s 295 candidates were 155 who were either new, or who were not currently serving in a local council. 28% were women, he said, while 23%, including the party’s first 16-year-old candidate, were youths.

He said the PN would next week be launching its manifesto at an extraordinary general meeting which will also be addressed by Manfred Weber, the leader of the EPP party who will also likely be the next European Commission president.

Puli reminded those present that as always, the PN needed to use its limited funds to compete with the vast resources of the Labour Party.

“We weren’t given the Australia Hall or Raffles, our Facebook ads aren’t being paid for by taxpayer  money,” Puli said.

He insisted that the circumstances the PN found itself going in to this election were very difficult, but stressed that the harder the circumstances, the greater the party’s determination to work for the country.

More in National