PN leadership contender Chris said was told, after writing to the PN’s Electoral Commission to investigate instances where PN life paid members were not on the voting register, that if at some point a life member refused their membership or wrote to the party to have their membership withdrawn, they had their membership stopped immediately.
This was the initial reaction he received, Said explained when asked about the recent dispute regarding life-time members who are being refused the opportunity to vote, adding that the commission assured him that they will look into every case.
Said added that in order to be eligible to vote, a person must have been a paid member for two years, following regulations made during the General Council.
Said said that he will keep following the situation.
He mentioned that there were, in the past, life members who moved over to another party, and “without a doubt they abandoned their PN membership and form part of anther party. But where there isn’t reason for people not to have a vote, I believe they should be able to vote.”
He said that this is the first time such a party election has so many voters, stating that it was not an easy thing to organise.
Asked about Adrian Delia’s statement yesterday, that PN leader Simon Busuttil was campaigning with Chris Said, he said that Busuttil spoke clearly about this through a private message on the PN Parliamentary Group chat, which was leaked. “I don’t agree with such messages being leaked in that way. His position was made clear. I can say that in both the 1st phase of the election and now I am working on my own scheme. I worked with my youthful team and was one of the two candidates chosen to go before the PN paid members.” Said criticised the attacks being made on Simon Busuttil and said that he does not agree with them.
Busuttil, according to the leak, had denied the statements made by Delia as being completely false.
Chris Said was asked about freemasonry. “The PN statute is clear, that a person can’t be a member of the PN and of a secret society. Whoever is a PN member must follow the statute. So a decision in this sense I am in favour of, as they follow the statute. I assure you that nobody in my team is a freemason, and if it results that someone is in some way involved in these kinds of secret societies, not even two seconds will pass before I get rid of him. To form part of a secret society is wrong and does not conform with the PN principles”
Turning to Daphne Caruana Galizia, he said that the PN agenda is dictated by the PN, not by the PL, not by journalists whoever they may be. Our agenda is set by the PN.
He said that he never used personal attacks, and it was never and never will be his style if he is elected PN leader and in the future, Prime Minister. “Personal attacks, coming from wherever they come, are to be condemned.” He mentioned that a certain MP through ablog has attacked him personally in the past. “Attacks on our journalists, on MZPN were in bad taste. I don’t agree when there were frivolous attacks on certain persons, but when there are serious allegations, certain documents published, as was done by Daphne Caruana Galizia on the Panama Papers, those are reputable papers and nobody could deny them.”
“I don’t want this party to spend the next five years defending itself, or fending off allegations against it. I am offering an open book, Your scrutiny of me has been ongoing for years, and you had every opportunity to ask, publish articles etc, but my integrity was never ruined, it stands. I am offering this to the PN and to the country. The country needs an opposition that isn’t looking over its shoulder, but one that is organised, and modern to create a political vision, and one that scrutinises government. I will not be a weight on the party and I will move the party forward, and the party would not have to defend me all the time as its leader.”
An absolute priority for the PN, with him as leader, Said said, will be the elderly and pensioners. He pledged that he will fight for all medicines tied with illnesses faced by the elderly to be provided for free. He also spoke about financial support tor grandparents who take care of their grandchildren.
He spoke of the need to improve the fight against criminality, as there are elderly persons who are afraid to leave their homes in certain areas.
Said mentioned that he would push for certain initiatives to improve the quality of life for pensioners. “The most important thing is adequate pensions. As time goes on, pensioners no longer remain adequate, and this must be addressed, so that pensioners can live well.”
“Another situation that has to be addressed is the situation faced by some married women where the husband would not want to share his retirement pension with them due to family problems.”
He spoke of the need for a pension index, which takes into consideration the cost of living. He said certain service costs rises. “Rent exploded, and if the elderly need to rent a new place, they would not be able to find a decent place.” The index would be revised every so often, he said.
Original article found on The Malta Independent