The PN’s administrative council will be meeting on Sunday to address a claim by Jason Azzopardi over a donation to the party from someone seeking a presidential pardon.

On Saturday, the former MP took to Facebook to claim that he had stopped a donation that was being made in exchange for a pardon for the donor’s relative.

The PN has been in opposition since 2013.

Questioned about the claim on NET TV, Bernard Grech on Sunday categorically denied the party had received such funds, saying he had called for an urgent council meeting at 4pm.

The council will address the claim and take the necessary action as the party believed in the rule of law and wanted to ensure there was no shadow over the party, he said.

Screengrab of Jason Azzopardi's post on Facebook on Saturday.Screengrab of Jason Azzopardi's post on Facebook on Saturday.

Grech seeking strong mandate

Grech was also asked about his re-candidacy for the post of PN leader.

The nomination period ended on Saturday, with no prospective challengers putting their names forward. Since he is the sole candidate for the post, Grech will only need a simple majority vote among party councillors to be confirmed PN leader.

However, on Sunday he said he was seeking a strong mandate.

He admitted that all leaders, no matter the size of the group they led, found some kind of resistance, and it was therefore important that the councillors gave him a strong mandate.

Grech said he respected those who genuinely had doubts about him and understood others who did not want a strong mandate in his favour.

'No more fragmentation'

“I’m however convinced that councillors will understand how important it is, at this challenging time for the party, to have one strong message, and no more fragmentation,” he said.

Grech also referred to Workers’ Day and 18 years of EU accession - both marked on Sunday.

The celebration of workers should not be a symbolic one, he said, but rather an acknowledgement of the necessity of workers.

Workers, he added, not only had a right to a job, but also a right to enjoy life, and they should therefore be protected from precarious employment.

“There are people who work from day to day without being able to plan their future finances or personal life. So while policymakers should ensure increased pay, they should also invest in innovative and quality jobs that ensure good working conditions, so that people are able to live rather than just exist.”

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us