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

Luke Zerafa

Partit Nazzjonalista’s Secretary General Clyde Puli said that he called up all candidates who contested on the thirteenth district ahead of Executive Committee meeting which is to be held on Saturday. Puli cited preparation when asked why he was doing so, explaining that such exercise was done in the eventuality that more than one person would express their interest in the vacated seat which would then lead to a vote. He denied that he was scouting for other 13th district candidates to express their interest in the seat, and reiterated that he was calling the candidates so that he could prepare for the eventuality of a vote.

When asked about the outcome of such calls, Puli said he had no definitive answers however he later said that Kevin Cutajar has already expressed his interest a number of times and has also informed the Nationalist Party leader. Another candidate lawyer Joseph Ellis in a letter sent to Puli which was published on Facebook, said that he appreciated Puli’s request to declare his interest as a candidate on the thirteenth district for the vacated seat. However he clearly stated that the seat should go to Cutajar who is next line according to the votes garnered in the casual election.

Puli calls up Ellis; Ellis shows his support for Cutajar

Lawyer Joseph Ellis who is also a PN candidate on the 13th District underlined that the vacated parliamentary seat should be taken up by lawyer Kevin Cutajar who also contested the 2017 snap election and is the next in line.

In a letter sent to Partit Nazzjonalista Secretary General Clyde Puli, Ellis said that he appreciated Puli’s interest in himself declaring his interest to make his way to parliament. This means that Puli contacted Ellis himself. Last Saturday the vote taken in the Party’s executive committee ended in a controversy following allegations concerning the way voting lists were compiled by the PN’s political coordinator himself who was interested in taking up the seat on the 13th district despite not having contested the election on the said districted.

READ: PN’s executive to meet on Saturday

In his letter Ellis showed his appreciation that the vacated seat should be taken up by someone who contested election on the same district. Further Ellis argued that Kevin Cutajar is the natural choice for the district.

The Executive Committee is scheduled to meet on Saturday with co-option on of the points on the agenda. The last time the Committee met, Jean Pierre Debono won the vote with a majority of two votes against Cutajar. However after allegations shrouded the voting list, Debono chose not to be sworn in as an MP. He has already served as an MP during this legislature, albeit for a short time since he chose to give up his seat to make way for PN Party Leader Adrian Delia who had not contested in the 2017 snap election. David Stellini on the other hand, has unsuccessfully contested MEP elections. He resigned from the House of Representatives shortly after and will be returning to his former job in Brussels.

Ellis further stated that Cutajar that following the casual election after MP Marthese Portelli who was elected on two districts had let gone off her seat on the thirteenth district, Cutajar had garnered the most amounts of votes following Stellini.

Ellis in his conclusion, reiterated his wish to see Cutajar elected to parliament through co-option and urged the party to have mechanisms in place when such issues arise following a consultation with party members.

Din hi l-ittra li għadni kemm bgħatt lis-segretarju-ġenerali tal-Partit Nazzjonalista fir-rigward tas-siġġu vojt li jeżisti fit-XIII-il distrett.

Posted by Joseph Ellis on Thursday, June 6, 2019

Former Nationalist MP David Stellini and 13th District candidate Maria Portelli have both expressed their support for Cutajar. Portelli was contacted by Newsbook.com.mt on Wednesday regarding the ongoing situation concerning the vacated seat. In comments given to this newsroom, Portelli was clear that the seat should be taken up by Kevin Cutajar who garnered the trust and most votes, and was next in line.