Nationalist MP Franco Debono said this evening he will be abstaining in tomorrow's vote of no confidence in Transport Minister Austin Gatt.

He told "I will not be an accomplice with those who will make a mockery of democracy and I will abstain."

Dr Debono was contacted following a meeting of the PN's executive this evening, which he did not attend.

The meeting, at the party's headquarters in Pieta, lasted under an hour.

The executive unanimously approved a motion stating that Nationalist MPs should all vote against the Opposition's motion.

It recognised the need for the reform and acknowledged that more needed to be done for the people's expectations to be met.

Dr Gonzi said that during the executive's meeting last Monday, Dr Debono was given possibility to propose an amendment to Opposition’s motion. This avenue had not yet been exhausted and remained open until tomorrow.

Asked what would happen if Dr Debono voted in favour of the motion or abstained, Dr Gonzi said he did not want to speculate. The government, he said, would be making constructive arguments throughout the debate.

Asked whether he considered the motion to be a vote of confidence in the government, Dr Gonzi said this was an important reform which had been promised in the PN's electoral manifesto. The decision had been taken by government and his government had pushed for it to happen.

Dr Gatt would not comment.

Dr Debono has been allocated five minutes to speak during the debate on the  motion, moved by the Opposition. The debate starts at 9 a.m. and the vote is expected to be taken at 8 p.m.

The motion approved by the PN's executive tonight can be read in the pdf link below.

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