‘Puli asked me to run in the upcoming co-option vote’ – Portelli

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Thirteenth district candidate Maria Portelli thanked Partit Nazzjonalista Secretary General Clyde Puli for having personally offered her to participate in the internal election which will be held on Saturday as part of the co-option process to elect a new parliamentarian to the House.

READ:  Puli says he called up all PN candidates on 13 district ahead of executive meeting

READ: PN’s executive to meet on Saturday

In her post, Portelli emphasized that she could not accept such an offer and reiterated that the seat should go to lawyer Kevin Cutajar because he deserves his place in parliament. Similarly Portelli had made strong arguments on why Cutajar should be chosen to take up the vacated seat when contacted by Newsbook.com.mt on Wednesday.

Portelli who is a local councillor on Victoria had contested the 2017 general snap election during which she had garnered 549 votes.

Thirteenth district candidate Joe Ellis published his letter to Puli on Thursday evening. In his letter, Ellis showed his appreciation at Puli’s request however turned down the offer arguing that Cutajar is the Party’s natural choice.

Puli told Newsbook.com.mt that he contacted all those who had unsuccessfully contested the 2017 snap election on behalf of Partit Nazzjonalista on the thirteenth district, on Thursday evening. Puli argued that he was calling the candidates to inform them about the meeting which is planned for Saturday as well as to ask whether they were interested in throwing their names in the hat, saying that he needed to know in order to prepare properly in the case a vote will be taken.

On Saturday Partit Nazzjonalista’s Executive Committee has co-option on its agenda. Former MP David Stellini who unsuccessfully contested the MEP elections held in May, resigned effectively from Parliament on 29 May. He will be returning to his former job in Brussels. On 1 June the Party held an internal vote which was won by two votes by chief political coordinator Jean Pierre Debono, however he renounced his seat after allegations shrouded the vote which was taken on Saturday. Individuals who were not meant to have a vote, were found on voting lists compiled by Debono himself. The Nationalist Party therefore has been without an MP for over a week.

READ: David Stellini pondering on job in Brussels

READ: Gozitan seat fraudulently stolen – former PN Executive President Sammut

READ: “I am the only remaining person interested in the Parliamentary seat” – Cutajar

READ: Debono’s stepping back seen as common sense by Cutajar

“Strange imprudent phone calls” 

Sources told Newsbook.com.mt that such calls were strange and imprudent. The sources argued that given the internal party’s situation, Puli should have anticipated beforehand that making such calls, would have resulted in being interpreted as though he was indiscreetly scouting for someone to contest the internal election against Cutajar.

The sources remarked that they expected  PN’s Secretary General to be more cautious and prudent in such times.

Different sources told Newsbook.com.mt that Cutajar should have been PN’s choice rather than perpetuating the crisis. Sources explained that had Cutajar been immediately chosen, it would have resulted in a win-win situation for the party. However, the sources went on, Cutajar was not given a deserved welcome.

More on this:

PN requests Speaker to postpone motion to co-opt Debono

Dangerously ambitious – Arrigo