A member of the Nationalist Party’s executive has opened the door to Franco Debono returning as an electoral candidate.

Roberta Bonello Felice said she would be willing to present a motion calling for Debono to be reintegrated into the party, provided he takes the first step.

“Perhaps he made some mistakes in the way he acted [in the past]. He was younger. But now, after 10 years, seeing how people want him back and that he’s still a PN member, I think it’s time for the party [to bring him back],” she said.

“He makes overtures on social media, but I urge him to take a step closer to the party. He shouldn’t wait for the party to summon him.”

Roberta Bonello Felice says she would like to see Debono back in the party.

When pressed as to whether she would be willing to formally present a motion calling for Debono to be accepted as a PN candidate, Bonello Felice replied in the affirmative.

“If Franco Debono asks me to do so, yes I would do it,” she said.

Electoral candidates must be approved by the PN’s executive, which Bonello Felice forms a part of, before they can run on the party ticket.

Her statement, made in response to a question by academic and talk show host Andrew Azzopardi on Saturday morning, comes just days after Debono publicly said he would be willing to consider running for an MEP seat as a PN candidate.

“I don’t think I would need to introduce myself to the electorate because I think they already know me,” Debono told Lovin Malta after acknowledging that he would relish being judged by the electorate at the ballot box.

Debono, who runs a successful criminal law practice, exited frontline politics in 2013 after clashing with Prime Minister and PN leader Lawrence Gonzi. Several of the constitutional and legal reforms he proposed during his time in parliament have since been implemented. Despite serving just one term as an MP, he enjoys significant name recognition among voters. 

The Għaxaq lawyer makes no secret of his continued interest in local politics and regularly comments on political events on social media. Late last year, he made a direct and public pitch to the PN, writing “many people believe the PN won’t recover until I am given the chance to work [within the party.”]

The PN is gunning to regain its third MEP seat in the upcoming June elections.

Incumbent MEPs Roberta Metsola and David Casa are both contesting. The party’s other approved candidates are current MP David Agius, EU policymaker Peter Agius, former MŻPN activist Miriana Calleja Testaferrata de Noto, speech-language pathologist Norma Camilleri and lawyer LouiseAnn Pulis.

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