PN councillor proposes disciplinary board to monitor officials’ social media

Pierre Portelli has put forward ten proposals he believes the party should adopt going forward


Pierre Portelli (left) was re-elected as a councillor in Sliema in the latest round of local council elections
Pierre Portelli (left) was re-elected as a councillor in Sliema in the latest round of local council elections

Nationalist Party activist and Sliema councillor Pierre Portelli has made a number of proposals he hopes the party will take up, including the establishment of a disciplinary board to monitor social media of party officials.

The board should also issue guidelines on acceptable online etiquette, Portelli, himself writing on Facebook, said.

“A disciplinary board composed of experts in media monitoring – both traditional and social media – who will give their input and create guidelines about ethics online,” Portelli said.

Party activists opposed to the suggestion have described it as nothing more than a proposal for censorship.

 “I decided to write this publicly because I’ve been proposing some of these ideas for a long time but it seems that there are know-it-alls [within the party] who don’t wish to listen,” wrote Portelli.

He said that the hatred and divisions splitting the party into two obvious factions was debilitating the Opposition.

“It’s time that the PN administration stops saying that the doors are wide open for all because clearly the truth suggests otherwise… we are losing valuable people and instead of doing some soul searching we are carrying on with business as usual, which is unacceptable,” the councillor, and Delia loyalist said.

The list of ten proposals also includes a complete rebranding of the PN and the establishment of a campaign team to design a strategy in the run-up to the next general election.

“There should be continuous educational programmes that would benefit young candidates and all those who wish to start their political journey both locally and in Europe,” he wrote, adding that a policymaking task force was also required so that new policies would be designed in the interest of everyone and for a wider outreach.

Portelli also suggested the formation of a creativity hub in which “original ideas are discussed, so that a true mosaic of people with different opinions contributes to more open politics.”

He added that MPs should not be employed at the PN headquarters or within the party’s media.

Since Delia’s election, the PN has been characterised by infighting between different factions, which more often than not have taken to social media to voice their opinions and condition discussions within the party.

Just last Saturday, following the resignation of executive committee President Mark Anthony Sammut, MP Jason Azzopardi took to Facebook to suggest that the party’s administration needed to resign.

“So those who had no part in formulating [the PN’s] political strategy still took responsibility and resigned. And those who formulated and implemented it couldn't care less. Now that’s an establishment,” Azzopardi wrote, with Delia responding that he had no more time to waste on the rebel MP.  

This morning, the PN’s pensioners branch called on party members to stop airing their differences in public and on social media, and to instead discuss problems internally.