Nationalist MP Chris Said has confirmed he turned down a request by the party to contest next year’s European Parliament elections.
“My response was clear from the start,” Said told Lovin Malta. “I am personally interested in national politics and contesting the MEP elections never even crossed my mind.”
Said, the PN’s shadow minister for Gozo, hit the headlines last year when he campaigned to become the party’s new leader, eventually losing out to Adrian Delia.
Despite the bitterness of the leadership campaign, the relationship between Said and Delia soon thawed, with Delia giving Said the added responsibility of shadowing constitutional reform and the Gozitan MP frequently appearing at events alongside his former rival.
The PN has so far confirmed six candidates for next year’s European Parliament elections – the three incumbents Roberta Metsola, David Casa and Francis Zammit Dimech, as well as NET TV presenter Frank Psaila, sociologist Michael Briguglio and Peter Agius, who used to head the European Parliament Information Office in Malta.
Agius told Lovin Malta that the PN requires a strong Gozitan MEP candidate, predicting that the lack of progress on the tiny island will be a crucial point in next year’s election.
“Gozo has been the biggest failure of Malta’s EU accession, with the island hardly benefiting at all from the subsequent economic growth,” he said. “While every candidate should campaign for the rights of Gozitans, Gozitans will expect the party to show a sign of faith by putting forward a strong Gozitan candidate.”