The outcome of the PN executive committee meeting was not a surprise. It has been on the cards ever since Franco Debono did not support GonziPN in Parliament late last year. What was very surprising, however, is that the PN has resorted to the use of tough guys. These ‘bouncers’ were not there to keep away any unruly Labour party opponents nor were they meant to quell any disturbances. They were there to provide a show of force, to intimidate those that do not obey Gonzi and his clique blindly but it is most unfortunate that they were used to remove unwanted persons, persons who until a short while ago were part of the PN security team, forcefully and by violent means.
The credibility of Dr. Gonzi and his team has been questioned and found wanting for a relatively long time. It has now come to the fore and the Maltese people can and will judge him accordingly. In many instances he does the complete opposite to what he himself proposes. Now, after endlessly trying to scare people with past violence, he even allows the use of his party’s henchmen. The vulgar and offensive catcalling after a Parliamentary vote recently as well as the support to columnist Caruana Galizia, following exceptionally hard, rude and offensive hate-filled remarks clearly show that the GonziPN propaganda machine is ready to use whatever means necessary to stay in power as long as possible.
Lawrence Gonzi said that the PN executive committee agreed unanimously to ban the three Nationalist MPs who had not voted with the government from contesting the next general elections. He said that Franco Debono, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando and Jesmond Mugliett were not being expelled from the party and that he hoped that his government can continue to govern. He spoke of government business as if no problem ever existed, even though none of the three disciplined government MPs have declared their voting intentions in future parliamentary votes. It is no coincidence that the action taken by the PN happened on the day that Parliament started its summer recess. Does Gonzi really feel that the people still believe his lies? The country has lost faith in GonziPN although the Prime Minister still entertains hope that his party can continue to cling to power, longer!
Whilst Pullicino Orlando and Mugliett had already stated that they would not be contesting the next general elections, Franco Debono had hopes of continuing to run on the PN ticket. Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando said that this action was an expected one and Jesmond Mugliett said that this was not parliamentary democracy. Franco Debono called it an ‘example of GonziPN justice’ and he said that the decision was an absolutely cruel one. The Prime Minister and his clique have taken Franco Debono for a ride. They have used him to try and portray Gonzi’s leadership qualities only to be dropped like a hot-potato at the first opportunity. But Franco must not despair; he has now joined the majority of Maltese who have been fooled by Gonzi’s promises time and time again.
Gonzi has stated that the decisions taken by the PN executive are in line with what he has said. The disciplinary action taken against Pullicino Orlando, Mugliett and Debono is not a suspended sentence but more like a pronounced sentence suspended until the end of this legislature.