Kevin Cutajar says ‘relevant progress registered’ in PN co-option saga

The Gozitan councilor is now the only person known to be interested in taking the parliamentary seat vacated by David Stellini

Kevin Cutajar has said that progress has been registered in his bid to take up the parliamentary seat vacated by David Stellini
Kevin Cutajar has said that progress has been registered in his bid to take up the parliamentary seat vacated by David Stellini

Kevin Cutajar, the Xagħra councillor looking to replace David Stellini in parliament, has said that progress has been registered in his bid to join the Nationalist Party’s parliamentary group. 

“Following the incident regarding the parliamentary seat vacated by David Stellini in Gozo and my request to the PN leadership on the way forward, I can state that yesterday some relevant progress was registered,” Cutajar said on Facebook.

“Naturally, the issue has not been concluded, but with more disciplined work, I believe we can get there, in order for Gozo to keep what belongs to it.”

MaltaToday has reached out to Cutajar for comment and is awaiting a reply.

A spokesperson for the PN said it would be party’s executive that will decide who the seat will go to, but did not specify when it would next be convened.

Stellini, who was elected to parliament from the 13th District – Gozo – resigned last month, with the party now needing to fill his sit by co-opting someone to the House.

A decision on who will take up the seat must be taken by the party’s executive committee, which last Saturday elected the PN’s chief political advisor Jean Pierre Debono after he beat Cutajar by 42 votes to 40.

Debono was however forced to give up his seat the following day, after it transpired that two of members of the executive who voted in the election where in fact not eligible to do so.

On Tuesday, Cutajar, again writing on Facebook, said he had written to the party’s secretary general to ask him about the way forward, given that he was now the only remaining candidate to have expressed an interest in the seat.

Saturday’s decision to select Debono over Cutajar was not received well by the party’s activists in Gozo, who are insisting that the seat should be given to someone from the same district.

Gozitan MP Chris Said, who had run for party leader against present leader Adrian Delia, said after the vote that Gozo was disgusted by the decision and that he was “considering his next step”.

In comments to the Times of Malta today, former European Court of Human Rights judge Giovanni Bonello said the matter of co-option to the House was government by several constitutional rules, including one which designates Gozo as a special region, and another stating that in the case of a co-option he new member must be “as nearly as can be of the interests and opinions represented and held by the vacating member”.

Bonellos’ opinion, Cutajar said in a subsequent post, “strengthened Gozo’s case” in the matter.

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