[WATCH] Chris Said pledges forward-looking vision, clampdown on PN cliques

PN leadership hopeful Chris Said wants to bring 'thinkers' back to the party and develop a vision that is 'steps ahead of society'

Chris Said is in the running for the PN leadership
Chris Said is in the running for the PN leadership

PN leadership hopeful Chris Said has pledged to develop a “forward-looking” vision for the party and clamp down on internal party cliques.

Interviewed on XtraSajf, the Gozitan MP said that the PN has over the past decade regressed from a party that anticipates future changes in society into one that merely reacts to such changes.

“The PN used to win elections because it had a vision that was steps ahead of current flows in society, and society therefore got behind us instinctively,” he said. “In the last ten years or so, society continued developing at a rapid pace but we became a reactive party – reacting too late to changes and sometimes even messing up our reactions.

“If we want to become electable again, then we must once again develop a vision that is steps ahead of society.”

Pledging to bring back “thinkers” to the PN, Said said that he will set up an advisory group composed of people from all sectors of society to propose updates to the PN’s policies.

He also reiterated his promise to commission a detailed study to analyze socio-demographic changes in society so as to find out why the PN has lost its role as a protagonist in social changes.

Without delving into detail, Said notably pledged to clamp down on “certain cliques” within the PN as he posed his long experience within the party as an advantage over fellow candidates.

“I am an open book – people know how I had elevated Gozo FC to the Premier League during my tenure as Gozo Football Association chairman, they know how Nadur won the European Destination of Excellence award when I was its mayor, and they know how the PN reached all its targets in the 2015 local council elections when I was secretary general,” he said. “I know the PN inside out with my eyes closed. I know its strengths and I know who the genuine people inside it are. I also know its defects and I know of certain cliques, that I promise to remove and clamp down on.”

Chris Said was interviewed by Saviour Balzan on XtraSajf
Chris Said was interviewed by Saviour Balzan on XtraSajf

Said reiterated his commitment to bringing the PN closer to the man on the street – such as by reintroducing street leaders and by himself working from a party club at least once a week.

“I will not remain stuck in my office at Dar Centrali, but will be close to the people at their homes and workplaces and in the village squares,” he said.   

Elsewhere, Said insisted that he will be ready to give his MPs a free vote on controversial issues, noting that it is a strategy commonly used in European Parliament – including recently by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a gay marriage bill.

As for the future of the PN-PD coalition, the potential leader said that he plans to collaborate as much as possible with the new party in the current legislature but that he hopes such a coalition will not be necessary when the next election turns its head. 

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