Earlier this week, I resigned my seat as a member of parliament.  It wasn’t a decision that came on the spur of the moment or one that came lightly.  I also discussed it at great length with the Opposition leader and deputy leaders before deciding to communicate it to the Speaker.

I would like to thank once again all those who supported me.

Leaving my parliamentary seat was not an easy decision. Politics made up a good part of my busy daily schedule. I loved it, I loved meeting people, I loved discussing the nation’s challenges and how they should be addressed, and I loved discussing policy and working on policy documents. 

However, all this can only be done diligently if there is the right atmosphere and the right environment.

In drafting the letter announcing my resignation, I picked my words very prudently. I was never one to seek sensationalism and I do not wish my reasons for resignation to be used to add further fuel to the many, already fiery, debates raging in the political arena. 

And for this reason, I was careful not to specifically point fingers at anyone. I also avoided the conveniently bland platitude explanation: ‘for personal reasons’.  However, the fact I did not expressly point a finger at anybody else does not mean I resigned for personal reasons.

When news of my resignation came out, it caused understandable ripples.  It also led to undercurrents being formed, albeit these were not so visible. These undercurrents are neither based on reality nor on fact – these baseless undercurrents are trying to create illusory explanations that I resigned for personal reasons. 

In order to avoid further inaccurate speculation, I will set the record straight – I did not resign for personal reasons. 

There comes a time when one realises the current ambience is shackling

There were also a number of others who were concerned that I might have resigned because of health issues – I would like to thank these people for their concern but I would like to put their mind at rest that I do not have any health issues.    

Francis Bacon, way back in the 17th century had written that “Mahomet cald the Hill to come to him. And when the Hill stood still, he was neuer a whit abashed, but said; If the Hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet wil go to the Hill.” The ‘Hill’ soon after becoming the proverbial mountain.

The opposite to what Bacon attributed to Mohammed also holds true – if the mountain will not move away from your life flight-plan, change your course.

A mountain there is, and like all other such structures of its kind, it affects the environment around it significantly, creating a microclimate that usually is not the same as that of its wider environment, as is the case with the influence of the Alps on Liguria, in Northern Italy. 

For the ones who love it, there is no issue but the ones who feel suffocated in such an environment need to take themselves away from it.  

That is what I did. Although I never had any false illusions about the possibility of normality returning to the Maltese political environment and the country any time soon, I soldiered on determinedly, always staying true to my principles and objectives that had originally pushed me to enter the political arena many years ago.  But there comes a time when one realises the current ambience is shackling.

On the basis of these reflections I came to my decision to resign my parliamentary seat. I will now seek to pick up as many of the pieces of my life, that I had had to sacrifice for politics.

I will always care and do my duty as a citizen for a return to normality. I shall continue to hope.  Never will I subscribe to Nietzsche’s belief that hope is the most evil of evils because it prolongs man’s torment. 

On the contrary, hope is what keeps one going, when all else fails.

Marthese Portelli is former PN MP.

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