[WATCH] Both PN leadership contenders insist they have never used drugs

Both Chris Said and Adrian Delia were asked whether they had ever used drugs or whether they have been in anyway involved in freemasonry, among other questions on XTRA Sajf tonight

Chris Said and Adrian Delia were both guests on XTRA Sajf
Chris Said and Adrian Delia were both guests on XTRA Sajf

Both of the candidates vying to be the next Nationalist Party leader have stated that they have never used drugs in their lifetime.

Chris Said and Adrian Delia were guests on XTRA Sajf, hosted by Saviour Balzan, who asked whether they had ever made use of recreational drugs.

“I have never used drugs in my life, and I have not even ever come into contact with a person who has offered me drugs,” said Said. “Maybe it’s because I was always so involved with different organisations that I never had time to be offered drugs.”

Delia on the other hand gave a shorter response: “I have never, no,” said Delia.

Both men were also asked about whether they ever were freemasons, both Said and Delia again answered in the negative.

Asked about a status uploaded by Karol Aquilina - an MP and member of the PN’s administrative council – on Monday, in which he wrote that being taken over by freemasons was the worst thing that could happen to a political party, Delia insisted that what Aquilina had wrote was shameful.

“He will have to take full responsibility for what he said and I will not stop until he suffers the consequences of what he said,” continued Delia.

Turning to whether they had ever been aware of corruption during their time in football, Delia and Said both insisted that they had always done their best to fight corruption. Said pointed out that during his time at Gozo Football Association, whenever he had received allegations which were backed up by the “slightest bit of evidence”, he had referred the case to the relevant authorities, while Delia stressed that if anything he had been too persistent in his fight against corruption.

Said was a guest on the first part of the program where he emphasised the need for the PN not to lose its identity, insisting he would strive to reaffirm the party’s values if elected.

“If the party loses its values and identity, if it becomes Labour Mark 2, it will be the beginning of the end for the Nationalist Party,” he said.  Asked whether the implication was that if he wasn’t elected the PN would become Labour Mark 2 insisted that it was in fact what he meant.

Chris Said
Chris Said

“This is what the signs are showing,” he added.

With Delia considered by many to be the favourite to win the race, Said has been questioned by journalists on whether he would be pulling out of the race, however when this was pointed out by Balzan, the Gozitan MP stressed that he had an obligation to give the party’s members a choice come the 16 September.

Moreover, he said that he had already been promised the support of many councillors who h ad backed Alex Perici Calascione, who obtained 21% of the vote in the first round. That percentage, he said, also reflected a portion of the party’s members who he could still win over.

During the last legislature, the PN was often painted by the Labour Party as being overly negative but Said pushed back against this view.

“No matter how much Labour calls us negative, the fight against what is abusive and wrong will continue,” he said, adding that it was the Opposition’s job to call out wrong doing by those in power.

On his part Delia said he had entered politics because he felt that people wanted their voice to be heard in party that was perhaps not listening to everyone the way it should.

It was also pointed out by Balzan that his opponent was implying that with him at its helm, the Nationalist Party would become “Labour Mark 2”.

“If he is anticipating that I will have the electoral success Joseph Muscat has had that is a very positive type of criticism,” quipped Delia.

Adrian Delia
Adrian Delia

He insisted that nobody could criticise his style of politics, for the simple reason that he was just starting out. He said that if elected, he would not be taking a populist approach where he tells people only what they want to hear.

On the other hand, he said it was also important to listen to people’s fears and concerns, adding that everyone in society needed to be heard and that one of the PN’s over the past years was that it had only listened to people “in suits”.

The lawyer and political newcomer also rejected the claim that his campaign was only made up of old faces, pointing out that “his people” included members of MZPN – the PN’s youth wing -  and young businessmen who had managed to succeed because of the PN’s past policies.