A leading Maltese criminal lawyer and former PN MP has urged the Nationalist Party to shake up its ranks and bring in new faces to replace those who have been militating in the party for a long time.
“It’s being reported that there are some proposals for the PN to change its name. This isn’t something essential or important,” Franco Debono said, referring to an Illum report on a proposal by former PN minister Louis Galea for the party to rebrand into ‘Partit Nazzjonali tal-Poplu’.
Galea was last year entrusted by PN leader Adrian Delia to spearhead an internal reform process. However, Debono’s post appeared to voice scepticism as to whether the 72-year-old Galea himself is the right person to lead this reform process.
“What’s important is that those whose time has passed leave, as many others already have, and that the party starts attracting valid people,” he continued.
“No one is going to enter a party when there’s someone who thinks they have a monopoly over it, even when they are 100-years-old and even if the people have shown repeatedly that they don’t want him,” he said.
Back in 2008, Debono was elected to Parliament at Galea’s expense on the back of a PN campaign which called for new faces to reinvigorate the then PN government.
His comments come as the Labour Party continues to attract more and more young and aspiring talent, while the Nationalist Party turns to its old guard for help moving forward. PN stalwarts are being called in in an attempt to regain some of the lost support the Nationalist Party has suffered over the last few years.
“The only reform that needs to be done is that those whose time has passed leave, make way and gives the opportunity to others.”
In a subsequent post, he pointed out that former President George Abela is retired at aged 71 and is the father of Prime Minister Robert Abela.
“Meanwhile in the PN, there are people who are peers of George Abela who can be found dictating and ordering what needs to be done,” he joked cheekily.
Debono received numerous messages of support and agreement to his thoughts.
“If the Nationalist Party truly wanted change, they would change their Jurassic-era deputies first off and make way for those who want to take part so that there would be a proper opposition and they would be able to govern,” said one person. “Changing the bottle’s name doesn’t mean you changed the medicine inside.”
What do you think of Debono’s argument?