Gżira mayor Conrad Borg Manche has accused new PL candidate Rebecca Buttigieg, who will contest the election on his district, of engaging in dirty politics following a snide Facebook comment by her uncle.
Yesterday, Borg Manche posted a photo of rubbish strewn at a beach a few metres away from a bin, questioning how people can be so stupid.
One of the commenters, Gżira resident Martin Galea, said the mayor should focus on the litter dumped in their town, prompting Borg Manche to point out that his niece (Rebecca Buttigieg) works as a communications coordinator in the Home Affairs Ministry.
Galea denied that his criticism of Borg Manche stemmed from a desire to help his niece electorally by harming him, urging the mayor to stop blaming others.
“You should speak to her a bit about your concerns so that perhaps proper enforcement can take place,” Borg Manche responded.
“That’s why there’s so much spite from your end; do you think I’m stupid? What weak arguments. All shortcomings are due to a lack of enforcement where your niece works. I’m not a miracle maker or a police officer; it can’t be that this is the reason behind the lack of enforcement, right? So people like you can complain and I look bad?”
Borg Manche then published a separate Facebook post with his and Galea’s comments.
“As a child, I was always told to stay away from dirty politics; in politics I. have always acted according to what is right and I have no regrets.”
“However, there’s no doubt it can be dirty; there are large manoeuvres which I see and others which I don’t see but can feel.”
“Unfortunately its genuine people who are worst impacted by these manoeuvres, but it never got me down, especially not now that everyone knows what I count for and that I’m ready to fight and be killed for the people.”
“For relatives of an election candidate from the same party and running on the same district to be allowed or made to obscure my work is not on. Not even if I know what I know. I’m very quiet but everything and everyone have limits.”
“[Buttigieg] is being given so much exposure on ONE and yet she still isn’t managing to become as popular as she would like to be; it seems that this is bugging her relatives.”
Borg Manche contested his first Gżira local council election in 2015, obtaining 560 first-count votes and immediately becoming mayor, before getting re-elected with 988 votes four years later.
He also contested the 2017 general election, finishing fourth among PL candidates who contested the tenth district, behind only incumbent MPs Evarist Bartolo, Michael Falzon and Manuel Mallia.
Buttigieg, who has yet to contest an election, refused to comment on Borg Manche’s accusations when contacted by Lovin Malta.
Mallia’s decision to quit politics and become Malta’s High Commissioner to the UK means several votes are now up for grabs, with Borg Manche, Buttigieg and others all seeking to benefit.
What do you make of the mayor’s claims?