PN petitioners accuse party of providing outdated councillors’ list

Activists seeking confidence vote on PN leader Adrian Delia say party has not provided them with updated list of eligilbe councillors who will vote next week

Petitioners Mark Anthony Sammut (left), Ivan Bartolo (centre) and Emma Portelli Bonnici (right)
Petitioners Mark Anthony Sammut (left), Ivan Bartolo (centre) and Emma Portelli Bonnici (right)

The Nationalist Party activists who managed to bring to the General Council a confidence vote on Adrian Delia, have protested the fact that they have not been granted access to a delegates’ list.

The General Council will vote in a confidence motion on party leader Adrian Delia, which was brought after the PN’s national executive approved a petition from Delia opponents who say the leader must assume responsibility for the European elections drubbing this year.

Former PN executive president Mark Anthony Sammut, one of various activists who petitioned councillors to force the discussion, says just a week from the Council vote he has not yet received the names of councillors eligible for the vote

The General Council groups the PN’s national delegates from across the island, and is the highest-decision making body except for the General Congress, which can elect party leaders and deputy leaders through the suffrage of all paid-up party members.

“The list we have received so far has a number of localities missing and is not a complete list,” Sammut said. “It also lacks identity card numbers of voters. It is apparent that the list is an old one which is not updated to the electoral register, where people who changed their address have been for years registered on their old addresses. It is clear this is a deliberate ploy to make it impossible for us to communicate with councillors.”

Sammut however said that he surmised that some 500 councillors have changed from a total of 1,530 since Delia won the popular vote in 2017. “This means that nothing less than 33% of eligible voters have since then changed, which means they can have a substantial impact on the voting result.”

Yet Sammut said that certain changes include councillors who have lost their vote without having been notified, among them long-time activists, who instead have been ‘replaced’ by Delia confidants like Julian Micallef – an activist believed to have set up fake profiles on Facebook to troll Delia antagonists.

“This confusion does not augur well for the voting day. These manoeuvres only bring division. In the name of democracy, we call for a stop to these tactics, so that early voting on Wednesday and voting on Saturday will be a free, just, and transparency process.”

The statement was also signed by Emvin Bartolo, Ivan Bartolo, Martin Musumeci, and Emma Portelli Bonnici.

Irregularities denied by PN electoral commision 

PN electoral commission head Francis Zammit Dimech issued a statement later on Saturday, stating that the full list of eligible voters was verified by the commission, which featured representatives from both camps. 

Zammit Dimech said that the list of councillors was valid as of 4 July, when the general council was called, but insisted that the commission has no right to contest the choice of councillors made by the sectional committees. 

Councillors who feel they had been wrongly left off the list have till Tuesday at noon to contact the electoral commission and notify them on any necessary checks they might carry out.

Party members who have not yet paid their membership have till Wednesday at noon to do so at the party headquarters in Pieta or online.  

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