Chris Fearne contradicts Sandro Chetcuti on presence at last campaign rally

Developers Association president Sandro Chetcuti says he was at Chris Fearne's rally on behalf of his association but admits making a mistake after leadership hopeful says MDA boss was there strictly as a party member

MDA boss Sandro Chetcuti embracing former Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi at Chris Fearne's last campaign rally at Villa Arrigo
MDA boss Sandro Chetcuti embracing former Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi at Chris Fearne's last campaign rally at Villa Arrigo

Updated at 4.05pm with Chris Fearne's statement

Malta Developers Association boss Sandro Chetcuti has told MaltaToday that all members of the council were invited to Chris Fearne’s last rally on Thursday after a photo of him embracing former tourism minister Konrad Mizzi at the event started doing the rounds on social media.

But in parallel comments to the Times of Malta this morning, Fearne said the campaign event was "specifically targeted" at party members. "Both Konrad Mizzi and Sandro Chetcuti are party members," Fearne said.

Fearne's answer contradicted Chetcuti's statement, which prompted the question as to whether other organisations and unions were invited to the event held at Villa Arrigo in Naxxar.

Asked on what basis Sandro Chetcuti was invited to the event, Fearne’s campaign team said: “Yesterday’s event, the last event in this leadership campaign, was open to all the Labour Party members. Sandro Chetcuti is a party member, and therefore he was invited as such. No invitations were sent to constituted bodies.”

Meanwhile, Chetcuti had said that whenever his association was invited to events by either political camp - both Nationalist and Labour - it always attended. Chetcuti said other members from the MDA's council were also present at the event.

However, when contacted a second time, Chetcuti admitted making a mistake, adding that the invite he received was a personal one but assumed it was on behalf of the MDA. The invite, seen by MaltaToday, is generic and makes no reference to the organisation.

"I wear two hats - I am president of the MDA and a member of the Labour Party. If I had an invite from Robert Abela's camp, whether as MDA or party member, I would have attended just the same," Chetcuti said.

He said the photo doing the rounds was taken at a time when he saw Konrad Mizzi: "I was simply greeting Konrad Mizzi."

A Facebook post uploaded by the MDA on Friday showed that the association’s council held an official meeting with Deputy PM Chris Fearne.

“Dr Fearne thanked the MDA for its contribution, especially in the past three years since he has been Deputy Prime Minister, for its various initiatives, including the registration of contractors and the organisation of the sector,” the post read.

The MDA also said that both parties agreed on better enforcement and discipline in the sector.

“Those who are honest do not have to carry the burden because of a few bad apples, and recognition that government needed to apply the principle of a level playing field,” the MDA said.

Fearne has held other meetings with groups and associations.

 

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