PN petitioners accuse party of data leak, divide and rule tactics

Miguela Xuereb

Five Partit Nazzjonalista activists heading the petition asking for a confidence vote on Adrian Delia’s leadership have accused the party of leaking private information to the media.

READ: Watch: Petition with 200 signatures calling for a vote on Delia’s leadership presented to PN

In a statement signed by Mark Anthony Sammut, Ivan Bartolo, Emma Bonnici Portelli, Emvin Bartolo and Martin Musumeci, said that people close to the leadership are resorting to “divide-and-rule tactics”, adding that those close to the current leadership “find no qualms in pitting nationalists against nationalists as long as it protects the ‘status quo'”.

The group is spearheading a petition to the PN’s general council, which was presented last week to the party. The motion seeks to convene a general council meeting during which Delia’s leadership will be debated and on which a secret vote will be taken.

READ: Updated: Delia expected to face vote of confidence

READ: Delia’s backers launch counter petition

The statement came after General Workers’ Union weekly It-Torċa published a list of names it claimed had signed the petition. The newspaper claimed that it was difficult to find out who the signatories were, however some councillors spoke to the traditionally Labour leaning newspaper.

In their statement, the five members of the general council however expressed their disappointment at the data leak, saying that “We are very disappointed that data which was in possession of the Party leadership has been leaked to the media.” Further adding that the this exposed party councillors who simply exercised their democratic right of asking for the General Council to be convened, which is stipulated in the party statute.

In his comments to Newsbook.com.mt, former Executive Committee president Mark Anthony Sammut said that when one signed the petition, one could only see up to ten signatures, adding that only Ivan Bartolo had access to the full list. A copy of the list was given to Partit Nazzjonalista when the five councillors presented the petition to the party.

Asked whether some of the names mentioned were true, Sammut said that he would not know since he did not have the complete list.

Newsbook.com.mt tried contacting an official party spokesperson who was unavailable.