Debono gets Stellini seat with 42 votes to 40 in PN executive committee

Adrian Delia ally Jean-Pierre Debono will be co-opted to the House to take up seat vacated by David Stellini

Debono was one of Adrian Delia's staunchest supporters throughout the leadership campaign
Debono was one of Adrian Delia's staunchest supporters throughout the leadership campaign

Adrian Delia's chief political advisor Jean-Pierre Debono will be taking up the seat vacated by the Gozitan MP David Stellini, after the PN executive narrowly approved his nomination by 42 votes to 40.

The other half of the executive, which includes the PN parliamentary group, voted from Xaghra councillor Kevin Cutajar.

The split is representative of the PN's internal rift which is divided over loyalty to party leader Adrian Delia, who earlier in the day said he would not be requested a vote of confidence.

Gozitan MP Chris Said, writing on Facebook following the vote, said that Gozo was "disgusted" by the result. Many Gozitan Facebook users expressed a similar sentiment online. Said wrote that he would be "considering his next step".

The president of the Nationalist Party executive committee Mark Anthony Sammut resigned his role earlier in the meeting as Nationalist MPs met for the first time since their drubbing at the European and local council elections.

MaltaToday is informed Sammut’s resignation came by way of assuming responsibility for the results of the PN at the European and local elections, in which the PN lost their third seat in Brussels, and key local councils like Valletta, Siggiewi, and St Paul's Bay.

Jean Pierre Debono was elected to the House in 2017 but who gave up his seat for Delia’s co-option in 2017.

The Nationalist MP David Stellini officially resigned his seat in the House of Representatives, to return to his posting with the European People’s Party in Brussels.

In an interview with MaltaToday, the Gozitan MP, who ran for MEP, expressed his dismay at the excessive partisanship of Maltese politics.

“I came from Brussels to Malta in a bid to work for a politics of unity, that can give people results. But there is a group of people who want the politics of the arena... a battle between gladiators,” he said.

“I call it the politics of symbiosis, because the large gladiator needs to have a smaller gladiator to fight against, and the smaller gladiator needs to pick a fight with the large opponent to keep its fans alive: the PN must be careful not to fall into this battle because it will not win it,” Stellini said. “The Maltese system is not conducive to the politics of unity I embrace.”

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