Russian roulette at Pietà

 

Introducing new blood in politics will not necessarily translate into a change for the better in the way in which it is conducted in Malta. It may well signify a backward step through the importation – lock, stock and barrel – of dubious and devious methods of operation from other areas of activity.

The current debate on the PN leadership contest has justifiably focused on the candidates’ ethical behaviour. Very pertinent in this respect is the report drawn up by the Consultative Committee on Ethics led by Louis Galea.  This report concluded that, in future, more time should be dedicated to ascertaining the suitability of candidates for top party positions.

It is now clear to everyone all that the appointment of the Consultative Committee on Ethics was in reaction to the information and comments published on the candidate Adrian Delia.

The Committee’s report laments that the restricted time-frame allowed was insufficient to enable it to carry out a rigorous examination and verification of the issues raised and the explanations offered. As a result, the report concluded, specifically in respect of Adrian Delia, that the serious doubts raised on his behaviour are still unresolved.

It is on this basis that the PN leader publicly opined that Adrian Delia should consider the withdrawal of his candidature. Having followed the public debate, as well as the available information, I tend to agree with Simon Busuttil’s position but consider that it may have been more appropriate if sufficient time had been allowed for the Ethics Consultative Committee to carry out its exercise. In the circumstances, a postponement of the election would have been more in order in view of the fact that the explanations given by the candidate Adrian Delia in public are in my view not convincing at all.

I am writing this on Friday evening before Saturday’s vote. There is a real danger that the PN Councillors would consider the ethics report inconclusive at face value and consequently a substantial number may consider giving Delia the benefit of the doubt. As a result, it would seem that the PN administration is playing Russian roulette with the future of the PN.

I believe that the PN has a duty, towards not just its members, but also towards the country to ensure that all the information available in thoroughly analysed. As a result a clear and unequivocal opinion would have been possible.

Having a half-baked report on matters of such importance may turn up to be suicidal for the PN. Those familiar with the PN councillors who turned up to vote yesterday are of the opinion that a substantial number of them would require a report which is clear and unequivocal to consider the ethical issues raised as a reasonable criterion for determining their preferred candidate.

I hope I am wrong, but it may well result that the PN has placed a loaded gun to its head.

published in the Malta Independent on Sunday : 3 September 2017

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