[WATCH] PN unable to get its message across clearly, Francis Zammit Dimech says

On Xtra, newly-appointed interim secretary-general Francis Zammit Dimech blames Labour’s manipulation for PN’s inability to capitalise on crisis that rocked the country

Francis Zammit Dimech
Francis Zammit Dimech

Francis Zammit Dimech has laid part of the blame for the Nationalist Party’s dismal performance in polls on the inability to get its message across.

The newly-appointed PN interim secretary-general also blamed government for the PN’s inability to capitalise on the political crisis that rocked the country last December.

“The government is a specialist in manipulating information and public perception as to what is taking place… the Labour administration tried to give the impression that everything was under control during the Caruana Galiza murder investigation, and is now putting forward the illusion that, with the change in Prime Minister, all the previous administration’s problems have been resolved,” Zammit Dimech said.

He was being interviewed on TVM’s Xtra on Thursday night.

Zammit Dimech was appointed interim secretary-general by the PN executive last Tuesday following the resignation of Clyde Puli.

The Nationalist Party has to be the “shield for truth,” he insisted, pinning the problem on the party’s inability to communicate clearly.

“Until we manage to explain ourselves better, there will be people who will continue asking, ‘Why the Nationalist Party?’ This is why, because we will tell the people the truth, but we need to do so in a clearer fashion than we have managed so far,” he said.

With the PN in tatters after several MPs asked party leader Adrian Delia to resign, Zammit Dimech called for unity.

“Every difficulty must be seen as a challenge and every challenge must be seen as an opportunity… the important thing is that the party must be seen as belonging to the entirety of its base, in which we all must work,” he said.

On the latest MaltaToday survey that put Delia’s trust rating at its lowest level in two years and with a large chunk of PN voters expressing their trust in Robert Abela, the incoming secretary-general said the numbers showed that the party has to move closer to the people.

“The surveys clearly show that we need to work harder, and we need to be more effective in how we get our message across,” Zammit Dimech said. 

Asked about reforms within the party, Zammit Dimech said the important thing was to have a structure within the leadership team that incorporates a wide array of elements.

“We need different talents, people with different opinions and views; a structure which incorporates all of them, and in which they can work together,” he said, adding unity was paramount.

“In my eyes, anyone who works within the PN, who works for the good of the country… is a hero,” he said, when the topic of Jason Azzopardi and his list of 17 Blue Heroes was raised.

“When times are difficult, everyone starts seeking who to blame but I don’t want to discuss blame,” he added, calling on all party members to work together and move forward as one team.

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