New MP Alex Borg has ruled out contesting the PN leadership, putting an end to rumours about a possible bid. But he has not ruled out doing so in the future. 

"I don't rule out contesting for the role in the future, but I am still very new to politics and I must mature in it before taking that step,"  the Gozitan MP told Times of Malta on Monday morning.

"Furthermore, it would not be healthy for the PN to go through another divisive leadership election right now. We must join forces in support of Bernard Grech."

Borg, running for the first time, was easily the most successful PN candidate in Gozo at the general election, and has since been appointed shadow minister for the island. 

Urged to contest

He confirmed that over the past few days, several Nationalist Party supporters urged him to contest the leadership race.

On Sunday, a Malta Today survey found that almost 70% of PN councillors want Bernard Grech to stay on as leader, but when asked who they would view as an alternative leader, without prompting, they mentioned Alex Borg as their fourth preferred candidate alongside Franco Debono, after Joe Giglio, Roberta Metsola and Adrian Delia.

Borg won big in the general election, securing 6,108 first count votes in Gozo, surpassing former PN minister and veteran MP Chris Said.

In a Facebook post on Monday morning, Borg said he was grateful for the trust shown in him in the survey but said he's still very new to politics.

"I was always taught to walk before I run," he said, adding that nobody knows what might happen in the future.

"I have full confidence in Bernard Grech as I have always had in every PN leader. And I want to work with the leader for the benefit of the Maltese and Gozitan people."

Addressing the party general council on Sunday, Nationalist leader Bernard Grech said difficult decisions have to be taken if the party is to survive, adding that it could not afford to become further fragmented.

The party's debts, he said, had reached €32 million and the party media company, which is losing tens of thousands of euros each month, was unsustainable.

The party's problems, he said, transcended its leadership. Four leadership changes had led to similar results at the polls, confirming that leadership was not the problem. 

"We must rid ourselves of the fear of our realities," Grech told councillors, saying he was duty-bound to show them a true picture of the party's current state.

Nominations for the party leadership race are open, and Bernard Grech is so far running for re-election uncontested.

Adrian Delia, Joe Giglio and Mark Anthony Sammut have all dismissed rumours linking them to leadership bids. 

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.