TEBGHA SEWDA OHRA FIR-REKORD DEMOKRATIKU TAL-PN
Ghal-bidu ma kontx se nahdem fuq dan is-suggett ghax kien hemm aktar intricci jaharqu li l-poplu Malti ghaddej minnhom. Imma dak li ghamel il-Partit Nazzjonalista nhar is-Sibt 5 ta Frar 2005, ma hasadx lili biss imma hasad lill-poplu kollu.
Nibdew mill-bidu. Kien il-Partit Nazzjonalista li waqqaf il-kunsilli lokali fit-tieni legislatura tieghu fl-1994. Dak iz-zmien il-PN kien qal li t-twaqqif tal-kunsilli lokali kienet prijorita ghall-PN, argument li ftit jista jitwemmen ghax allura kellhom jillegislaw matul l-ewwel legislatura 1987-1992 u mhux hallew hames snin jghaddu jekk il-kwistjoni kienet ta prijorita. L-argument principali tal-PN kien u ghadu li t-twaqqif tal-kunsilli lokali kien strument sabiex il-poplu Malti u Ghawdxi fuq livell lokali isemma lehnu u jeleggi lil dawk
Mhux se nsemmi kemm l-istess PN haqar lill-kunsilli lokali kemm meta ziedilhom it-taxxi, kemm meta hadilhom il-haddiema tal-gvern
Ghall-elezzjonijiet tal-kunsilli ghall-Marzu 2005 kien hemm zewg lokalitajiet ewlenin, cioe il-Marsa u z-Zejtun. Kulhadd jaf li dawn huma zewg lokalitajiet fejn hemm appogg sabih ghall-MLP. Imma dan qatt ma kien ta xkiel ghall-PN fl-elezzjonijiet kollha li saru sa mit-twaqqif tal-kunsilli. Din is-sena kien differenti. Il-Partit Nazzjonalista frisk mit-tkaxkira enormi li qala fl-elezzjoni ghall-Parlament Ewropew fGunju 2004 u fl-elezzjonijiet ghall-kunsilli lokali li saru fl-istess perjodu, ir-riskju li l-PN jerga jiehu tkaxkira ohra kien wiehed ovvju. U xghamel il-Partit Nazzjonalista fil-Marsa u fiz-Zejtun? Ghamel dak li qatt ma sar fl-istorja politika Maltija. Gieghel lil erba mill-kandidati tieghu ghall-elezzjoni fil-Marsa u iz-Zejtun jirtiraw il-kandidatura taghhom. Bdin il-mossa, in-numru ta kandidati fdawn iz-zewg lokalitajiet kien gie l-istess bhan-numru ta kunsillieri li setghu jigu eletti u ghalhekk ma kienx hemm ghalfejn issir elezzjoni.
Xhinuma r-riperkussjonijiet ta att bhal dan. Minghajr dubbju, dan il-pass tal-PN kien pass totalment anti-demokratiku. Il-PN effettivament cahhad lil 13,000 Malti milli jesprimu ruhhom felezzjoni tar-rahal u belt taghhom. Dan jaffettwa lill-kulhadd kemm Laburisti u kemm Nazzjonalisti. In-Nazzjonalisti fil-Marsa u z-Zejtun ittehdilhom id-dritt tal-vot. Setghu verament jesprimu n-nuqqas ta sodisfazzjon taghhom ghall-gvern taghhom billi jew jivvotaw ghall-kandidati Laburisti inkella ma jivvotaw xejn. Xi haga bhal din il-PN ried jevitaha akkost ta kollox biex ir-rizultat finali tal-voti mitfugha ikun anqas kiefer ghall-PN. Imma anke l-Laburisti bghatew ghax huma wkoll ghandhom dritt jaghzlu huma liema kunsilliera jridu fil-kunsill. Dan id-dritt gie michud ukoll.
Il-partit li ftahar li ta l-vuci lill-poplu fuq livell lokali huwa l-istess partit li cahhad lill-istess poplu billi nehhielu elezzjoni fzewg lokalitajiet pjuttost kbar.
Il-gurnal Malta Today ghamel kuntatt maz-zewg kandidati Nazzjonalisti taz-Zejtun u ma wiehed mill-kandidati tal-Marsa. Lawrence Grixti qal lil Malta Today li ma setax jifhem kif il-PN kien ikkancellalu l-kandidatura tieghu u ried li jiehu sehem fl-elezzjoni fiz-Zejtun. Joseph Brownrigg li huwa l-kandidat l-iehor fuq iz-Zejtun insista li d-decizjoni biex jirtira kienet wahda personali anke jekk il-PN ikkonferma li d-decizjoni dwar l-irtirar tal-kandidati kienet tal-partit. Ovvjament Brownrigg pprova kemm jista ma jhammigx lill-PN. Manuel Saliba li hu wiehed miz-zewg kandidati Nazzjonalisti rtirati fuq il-Marsa wkoll qal li d-decizjoni kienet wahda personali. Li ma qalux Brownrigg u Saliba kien ghaliex allura kienu tefghu l-kandidatura taghhom ghall-elezzjoni u ghaliex kumbinazzjoni l-erbgha kandidati rtiraw il-kandidatura taghhom fdaqqa ftit minuti qabel ma ghalaq il-hin. Meta Malta Today staqsa lil Manuel Saliba ghaliex irtira l-kandidatura tieghu hames minuti qabel l-gheluq, dan beda jghajjat li mhux affari taghhom.
Intant, ir-rejazzjoni ta skantament u rabja ma
And when the time came for it to face another test - in the forthcoming local council elections - it threw in the towel, withdrawing four candidates from Labour strongholds Marsa and Zejtun thus ensuring no election would be required there. This move was evidently aimed at avoiding another humiliating defeat. It is a pity that a strong and courageous party like the PN should opt for tactics the weak resort to. Who shall bell the cat now?
Seven out of every 10 respondents to an online poll by The Times felt it was improper of the Nationalist Party to withdraw four local council election candidates, describing it as a "most cowardly act" and "undemocratic". The move gave rise to strong criticism of the PN, which came under fierce attacks in the internet poll.
The Times 15.2.2005
THE SUNDAY TIMES
The Nationalist decision may make tactical sense, but it is certainly wrong and cannot really escape the charge of cowardice, fuelling the suspicion that, knowing that the government's popularity is at a low ebb, it simply decided on some damage control. It is also unfair to Nationalist voters in both localities, who have thus had the party choice of candidates - whether or not it was the best in the circumstances - imposed on them. while acknowledging the right of voters to decide who becomes mayor, the PN this year has deprived its voters in two major localities of the choice of who becomes councillor.
The decision taken by the Nationalist Party to withdraw four candidates from the forthcoming local council elections is rather strange. It was bound to backfire, and indeed it has done so already. PN candidates Joseph Brownrigg and Lawrence Grixti in Zejtun, and Emmanuel Saliba and Matthew Frendo in Marsa, pulled out of the election minutes before the deadline for applications expired, after having previously submitted their candidature. This means that there are now just enough candidates to fill the seats in both councils, and no election will be held in these two localities. Marsa will therefore have a council made up of five Labourites and two Nationalists, while Labour will have an even bigger majority in Zejtun, 8-1. First of all, the decision means that the PN has already lost one councillor from its total. At present, Marsa council is composed of a 5-2 Labour majority the same as it will be from March 2005 to March 2008. Zejtun council is at present composed of seven Labour councillors and two Nationalists. But the last-minute withdrawal goes beyond just losing one councillor, and the MLP was quick to pounce on the issue, interpreting the move as a sign of weakness on the part of the government. Considering that most of the 13,000 who would have voted in Zejtun and Marsa would have done so for the MLP, Labour is right to say that the results obtained by the two parties will be closer, since the elections in these two localities will not be held. The PNs decision to withdraw the four candidates was taken to try to gain some form of political advantage because it would reduce the number of first count votes the MLP will obtain next month. But in the end the decision has backfired and it is the MLP which has gained from it, because the move has been largely interpreted as a desperate attempt to contain the PNs losses. The PN has shot itself in the foot on this one.
It was a bad decision in the first place. It was even worse after the local council election results were made known. The Nationalist Partys decision to withdraw its candidates in the Marsa and Zejtun local council elections was doomed to fail right from the start. And it did. Soon after the move, it quickly emerged that there were several exponents from within the same PN who were against the decision. Some spoke out in public against it, others preferred to toe the party line but, in private, expressed their disapproval. Critics normally associated with the PN were also against the partys decision. The independent media criticised the PN strategy too. In this newspapers leader of 14 February, we described it as strange and a sign of weakness. The PN has shot itself in the foot on this one, we concluded. No doubt, the decision was taken to mitigate the electoral loss the PN was predicting in last Saturdays local council elections. But, in spite of the move, the PN was still defeated heavily in last weekends polls and, therefore, there was no mitigation at all. If anything, the MLPs victory was bigger than anticipated.
FRANS AGIUS MP
It would have been better if Nationalist MPs elected in these districts were consulted before the decision was taken. Parliamentary Secretary Frans Agius, who was elected from the third electoral district, which includes Zejtun, insisted that the Party should have consulted those involved in the partys organisation in the 3 and 4 electoral districts. Dr Agius told MaltaToday that he had learned of the partys decision from the media. Agius confirmed that the withdrawal of candidates from Zejtun and Marsa was never on the agenda in meetings of the PNs national executive and parliamentary group. Asked about his personal opinion on the matter, Dr Agius said, I am more inclined to be against than in favour of the decision.
The unfortunate decision to withdraw the four candidates from the Zejtun and Marsa local council list is curious and worrying. It does not augur well. It is more worrying since it originates from a political party that championed democracy in the eighties and created the local councils with the involvement of political parties in the nineties by empowering local citizens and popular suffrage. What took place a few minutes before last Saturday goes against the spirit of democracy so fervently fought for by the previous leaders of the Nationalist party. It finds its origins no doubt in the prospect of a landslide victory for Labour that would cast dark shadows over the PNs current popular standing. It is a silly interpretation yet it is probably a correct assessment. What is sadder is the relative quiet about this electoral game play. There is no precedent to candidate withdrawal in Maltese local council politics. Before this there were only councils with no contestations between political parties or councils with the legally required number of candidates thus doing away with the need of an election. This time round, the Marsa and Zejtun councils would have had an election, hadnt the PN withdrawn its four candidates five minutes before the deadline for nominations. This state of affairs calls for some serious thinking and soul searching at all political levels, most especially within the Nationalist Party. Do we want people to choose their representatives or do we favour manipulating electoral results for purely numerical achievements. The Nationalist Party must realise that it does not only have a role to be a populist party but additionally to be a leading player in the democratic process, leading by example as it certainly did in eighties. As PN Secretary General Joe Saliba has stated so often, local council elections serve to gauge public discontent at mid term. The voting trend at local council elections does not always repeat itself at national election level. If this is the case, then why this charade?
MARISA MICALLEF LEYSON
The decision to not contest two localities was yet another example of the Nationalist Party thinking they can fool people. You cant. If you try to trick people, in any way, and the people notice, they will hate you all the more for it. Incidents like this at Marsa and Zejtun have almost universally been condemned by anyone I have asked. But the worst is the sour taste it leaves.
FRANK ZAMMIT ex sindku Nazzjonalista - Marsa
The surprise decision by a restricted group of people in the Nationalist Party to withdraw candidates in the Marsa and Zejtun local councils was ill-advised and wrong. It left me wondering what could be behind such a strategy I can just imagine what went through the minds of those who have the PN at heart when they read it had opted to do this disservice to the democratic process by withdrawing its candidates just minutes before the closure of nominations. We cannot go on believing the PN can only win through such electoral ploys. We have disenfranchised the local populations of Zejtun and Marsa from expressing their sacred right to choose from different candidates. This decision means the party will be imposing given councillors on the Nationalist voters in these localities. There is much talk about losing touch with the middle class but what has happened in Marsa and Zejtun goes deeper than that.
The Times 16.2.2005
MICHAEL MERCIECA kandidat tal-PN ghat-tielet distrett, kunsillier fuq Wied il-Ghajn u membru tal-Kumitat Ezekuttiv tal-PN
I therefore feel very uneasy knowing that my own party has demonstrated cowardice in the face of two difficult council elections this March, one in Zejtun, the other in Marsa. As a Nationalist candidate in the third district, which includes Zejtun, I find it very difficult to explain to constituents any plausible reason for the action taken by the few reigning powers within the so-called strategy group. Even because so far the party has not felt it wise to call us candidates to the headquarters and explain to us what they did. those of us who love the party, who gave many years to the party, who have even shed our blood for our party must react to such a cowardly retreat.
The Times 22.2.2005
The decision by the Nationalist Party not to contest the local elections in Zejtun and Marsa is politically short sighted and will have dire consequences on the partys long-term political interests. It smacks of abject cowardice.
Victor Ragonesi, a former Nationalist Party general secretary who served under the late Gorg Borg Olivier, told The Times he hardly knew of any Nationalist who approved of the decision to pull out of the local election race in Marsa and Zejtun. Dr Ragonesi said he wished there would be more people "speaking out to be counted", adding that what Nationalists Frank Zammit and Michael Mercieca had publicly expressed in The Times recently reflected a general feeling among the PN grassroots.
The Times 5.3.2005
Kazi ohra kif in-Nazzjonalisti jitrattaw il-kunsilli
Whenever some subject being discussed by a particular local council was clearly political or carried possible political consequences of a certain gravity, the (PN) party expected to be consulted by its elected councillors before a final decision on voting is taken.
Dr. Austin Gatt
The Times 9.10.93
Plans to integrate 'PN' councilors into party structure.
The Times, 19.1.95
Little or nothing has been done in Gzira but this is no fault of the local council. It is only happening because there is a personal campaign against me by the Nationalist Government.
Sindku tal-Gzira Albert Rizzo
Mayors complained that the amount of money given to their councils was less than what they were told they would receive.
The Sunday Times 19.5.96
The Marsascala local council closes down after it felt it had been taken for a ride by the government over the Sant'Antin waste recycle plant.
The fracass at Zebbug which saw a press conference prior to the local council election last month given by the former mayor of Zebbug Dominic Zammit and attended by labour councillors disrupted when Nationalist MPs and councillors turned up did not happen by coincidence. It was a pre-ordained plan to disrupt the press conference. It was the worst episode of the PN attempts to wrest the Zebbug council away from Labour hands. The Malta Independent on Sunday now has proof that this was no spontaneous demonstration it was a pre-ordained spin which then spun out of control. The MP and councillors were there because they were told to be there. MPs representing the district received a peremptory phone call telling them to be there. its disgusting the way we were used, said a PN activist.
Siggiewi councillor, Nenu Aquilina has withdrawn the motion he planned to put forward against the two proposed interim landfills last week after pressure from his party peers not to antagonize the government. Nationalist Party sources said the PN councillor was under tremendous pressure to withdraw the motion.
The government has decided to cut council budgets by five per cent for the financial year 2004-2005, drawing the wrath of the Local Councils' Association association president Ian Micallef yesterday informed local councils the association had not been consulted before the ministry decided it would cut their spending power yet again.
The Times 14.7.2004
The Vittoriosa local council has complained that the government reduced its funding by Lm2,189 without consulting it. It said this went against the spirit of local councils and also against the European Charter of local governments. The council said the cut would have a negative effect on the standard of living of the residents of its locality.
The Times 12.8.2004
Local councils had Lm536,000 deducted from their funding last year following spending cuts taken by the government in July last year. Home Affairs Minister Tonio Borg told Leo Brincat (MLP)
The Times 8.2.2005
Over Lm78,000 in services unaccounted by VAT receipts, the hire of a car expressly for the Nationalist mayors private use, and a case in which architect Robert Sant a senior partner in Transport Minister Jesmond Muglietts architects firm allegedly certified works without his authentic signature or rubber stamp, are the order of the day for St Pauls Bay council, riddled with financial mismanagement. These serious financial short-coming have been revealed at
Qui-Si-Sana residents spelt out their anger yesterday at what they called an attempt by the government and Sliema Nationalist councillors to push ahead with the development of a car park complex against their will. On Thursday, the six PN councillors at the Sliema local council voted for a motion supporting the project, a move deemed by the remaining three councillors - two Labour and one Alternattiva Demokratika - as well as residents present for the meeting, as a reversal of a previous motion passed some time ago against the project.
The Times 5.11.2005
Recent proposals by the Swieqi mayor were based on partisan politics that destroyed any chance of creating a unified local council working for the benefit of all residents, Alternattiva Demokratika chairman Harry Vassallo said in a statement. Dr Vassallo was reacting to a proposal, made during the first meeting of the council after the local elections, by Nationalist mayor Carmen Said, who presented a list of roles and responsibilities and divided them solely among PN councillors, excluding councillors from the other parties - René Rossignaud (AD) and Mario Fava (Labour) - the statement read. This senseless proposal is hugely disappointing and a betrayal of what local councils should really be about, Dr Vassallo said as he appealed for the withdrawal of the proposal and the inclusion of all councillors in the council's work. Talent, capability, commitment and dedication should have no political colour and it is shameful that the mayor is letting partisan politics win over good sense in Swieqi, Dr Vassallo added.
The Sunday Times 8.4.2007
Filwaqt li Lawrence Gonzi jiftahar bil-lista tal-kandidati tal-PN ghall-elezzjonijiet tal-kunsilli lokali tal-10 ta Marzu u jghid li hu kburi bihom, jew wiehed jifli sew din il-lista jsib diversi kandidati li ma tantx jaghmlu gieh lill-PN. Fosthom hemm it-Tabib John Zammit
KullHadd.com 25.2.2012 21:51
Ghaliex il-PN ma kienx qieghed jirriklama l-elezzjoni f'Tas-Sliema wkoll?
Elezzjoni Marzu 2012: Shirley Farrugia tiehu l-gurament bhala sindku tal-Kunsill Lokali tal-Mosta bi tmexxija Nazzjonalista. Imma l-PN gab anqas voti mill-PL imma xorta dahal biex imexxi lill-Mosta anke jekk mghandux il-maggoranza tal-voti li fil-fatt huma tal-Partit Laburista. Qeghdin tisimghu lin-Nazzjonalisti jghajjtu bir-RIEDA TAL-MAGGORANZA? Le dazgur li le, ghax issa ma jaqblilhomx.