Lovin Malta founder Christian Peregin will be stepping down from the helm of the media organisation to join the Nationalist Party as its electoral campaign strategist.
A public announcement, shared with Times of Malta ahead of publication, was made by the journalist/entrepreneur on Lovin Malta last night.
“I have decided to exit Lovin Malta completely and start working within the Nationalist Party instead,” the announcement will read.
Peregin, 33, will be relinquishing his position as Lovin Malta CEO and director as well as his shareholding within the media company that he founded in 2016.
Peregin said he is doing this “to give the team at Lovin Malta the freedom to scrutinise me as much as they do all other political players”.
Although Peregin’s announcement did not get into what role he plans to take up within the PN, the party's media arm NET reported that he would be "leading the PN's electoral campaign team for the next general election."
Peregin said that when Lovin Malta was first set up he had wanted to add a “fresh and independent voice to the media landscape”.
“When I look around at the office today, I see a resilient and diverse team with a strong foundation and a bright future, working within a pluralistic media landscape,” his statement read.
“Perhaps, that is why I feel like my mission is complete and I am ready to dedicate my time to try and solve a new problem.”
Peregin not contesting any elections on the party ticket
Peregin said that Malta’s “democratic deficit” – the electoral gap between the popular Labour government and the lagging Nationalist opposition – is at the forefront of his decision to step into the political fray.
“The gap in support between the government and the opposition has remained too wide for too long and the trend seems to be taking us closer towards a two-thirds majority for Labour, which would effectively mean a one-party state,” Peregin argued.
This, he says, is bad news for the Nationalist Party but worse news for the country.
Drawing on Lawrence Gonzi’s 2008 Nationalist administration, Peregin, who at the time formed part of the Times of Malta newsroom, says the government’s precarious one-seat majority had posed a different sort of political imbalance.
Anything that administration did, risked triggering the collapse of an entire government.
“That is one of the reasons it lost its way and stopped functioning, which is why people like me voted for Labour in 2013, hoping a new government with an ambitious vision and a stronger majority could bring about the change the country desperately needed,” the announcement reads.
The current Labour government’s seven-seat parliamentary majority on the other hand posed problems of its own. From financial greylisting, to the construction abuse, the country is facing problems which Peregin said needs a “new generation of thinkers” to solve.
“I don’t have any hatred, bitterness or resentment towards Labour,” he said.
“I have respect for Prime Minister Robert Abela who stood up to the plate at an extremely difficult time for his party and the country, only to then be immediately thrust into the COVID-19 pandemic.”
However, Peregin said it was impossible for Labour to get Malta off the grey list and to restore the country’s reputation.
Turning to the Nationalist Party, Peregin said that, despite a proud history, in many ways it appears to have stopped being relevant.
After winning eight elections in 30 years, the party began to haemorrhage talent and voters.
“Today, it is a shadow of its former self. But that’s where the opportunity lies. The party is ready to be rebuilt. It must be rebuilt.”
Insisting he is not a “fervent Nationalist” but a Maltese citizen, he said he wants to help the party forge a vision for the country.