[WATCH] Clyde Puli told Simon Busuttil he did not agree with PN-PD coalition

On Xtra tonight, the newly-elected secretary general of the Nationalist Party reveals that he had warned former leader Simon Busuttil that he did not agree with an election coalition with the Democratic Party

Nationalist Party secretary general Clyde Puli on current affairs show Xtra
Nationalist Party secretary general Clyde Puli on current affairs show Xtra

The coalition that formed between the Nationalist Party and Democratic Party leading up to this year’s election was a “strategic mistake” PN secretary general Clyde Puli said.

Puli, a guest on Saviour Balzan's Xtra tonight together with Labour Party executive secretary Lydia Abela, said that he voiced his disapproval with former party leader Simon Busuttil, albeit privately.

Abela said that she was surprised to hear Puli say this, as she said it meant that he stood by and let the coalition happen even though he knew it was a mistake.

“What would have happened if this coalition made it to government? Families would be made into victims as a result of the decision and [Puli’s inaction],” she said, adding that there are now two deputies in the PN parliamentary group who do not even recognise Delia as Opposition leader.

“This is not normal. The PN often says that the country is not normal, but I think it is these things that are not normal.”

To this, Puli said that the party does not speak of arbitrary things when it refers to the country as ‘not normal’, adding that it is not normal for  “a hospital is sold for €1.” He also said that it is ‘obvious’ that entrusting what he referred to as the non-American, non-University American University of Malta to Sadeen is not normal.

Labour Party executive secretary Lydia Abela
Labour Party executive secretary Lydia Abela

On the other hand, Abela said that the PN was continuing to apply the same ‘style’ it did before the election, in “criticising every project and investment.”

“Some people say that we are too positive, and others say that we are too negative. I like this because this means we are balanced and act as the voice of reason,” Puli said.

“When we are selling hospitals for €1, of course I will criticise this.”

In the past three months, public trust in Delia went down, whereas the numbers for Muscat remained the same, and the gap remains huge, Saviour Balzan said. “We had a process of change. In this moment, we are going through a healing process, and Delia needs to understand the people and speak their language,” Puli said, adding that the party had previously only focused on the issue of corruption, but that the normal person is more concerned with their livelihoods and day-to-day issues. “But there is optimism,” he said, revealing that a number of members have joined the party recently.

Appearing in a video clip, Alternattiva Demokratika chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said that public mistrust grows out of issues within the institutions and the way that positions are appointed.

Although some of the institutions do work fairly, Puli said, other personalities such as the police commissioner do little to foster trust in the institutions. One of the things that should change is that promotions shouldn’t be given so quickly.

Abela responded by saying that whenever the institutions take a position that goes against the Opposition, it says that there is a ‘crisis’. She also pointed out that it was the current government which removed the prime minister’s power to choose judges and magistrates.

But one cannot say that Delia isn’t making changes, Saviour Balzan told Abela, to which she replied that she expected radical changes from Delia. Instead, she said, the PN is still made up of the same people that were active during the PN administration. “[Delia] spoke about a lot of good things, but a week later changed his tone to negative one yet again.”