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MALTATODAY 9 June 2019

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4 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 9 JUNE 2019 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Another source, an MP, said two points stood out from Joe Saliba's detailed presentation. "That unity on its own will not be enough for the PN – that is, even if we heal all our rifts, we would still lose by 30,000. Secondly, he specifically men- tioned David Casa's re-election as testament to the fact that the PN must reconnect with that section of voters who sent the PN leadership a clear message by voting for Casa." Yesterday's PN executive meeting was important for the approval by acclamation of Xaghra local councillor Kevin Cutajar, who will be co-opted to the House to fill in the seat vacated by Gozo MP David Stellini. Cutajar's election was grace- fully acknowledged by Jean- Pierre Debono, who in last week's meeting was elected by 42 votes to 40, yet later with- drew his bid when it transpired that neither Stellini, nor the party's treasurer, were entitled to vote on the co-option. Adding to the controversy that erupted was the resigna- tion of PN executive committee president Mark Anthony Sam- mut – claiming he was assum- ing his part of the responsibility for the PN's election drubbing – but later alleged that the elec- tion was vitiated by Debono himself. Yet PN secretary-general Clyde Puli yesterday gave Sam- mut a stern rebuke, accusing him of having neglected his duties by not verifying the list for eligible voters during last week's co-option election. "Puli told Sammut it was his responsibility to see that pro- ceedings in the last executive committee meeting were cor- rect, but he did not do this be- cause he neither checked the list nor verified its contents," a party source said. He further accused Sammut of "doing media" throughout the week to speak on the party's internal affairs, and of having breached data protection rules by publishing on his Facebook profile a list of names from the PN's executive committee. "He also accused Sammut of having breached the code of ethics," another party source said, referring to Puli's accusa- tions that Sammut was "airing the party's dirty laundry in the media". Some members were said to have insisted that Sammut is reported to the Data Protection Commissioner for having pub- lished personal details of the executive committee members on his Facebook profile. In the heated argument, Sam- mut denied that this was his responsibility. Sammut had previously claimed that the list was handed to him on the day of the co-option vote, and that as assistant secretary-general, Jean-Pierre Debono had access to the list. In comments to the press after being co-opted to Parliament, Cutajar said that the Nationalist Party had "done the right thing" by allowing that Stellini's seat to be co-opted by a Gozitan. The party had also sent a strong message that even some- one with a disability could make it to that point, he said. Asked by MaltaToday – in light of comments he made on Friday's Xarabank that he would resign if he lost the 2022 general election by a big margin – how large the loss would have to be for him to step down, De- lia said that it was premature at this stage to discuss this issue. He said the PN's executive committee had had a very fruit- ful session, and that the party was identifying its weaknesses and restructuring, but also fo- cusing on what its members have in common. "The executive committee was very strong today, and held a long and serious discussion. We are identifying our weak- nesses and looking at what restructuring has to be put in place. But we are also looking at our strengths – what unites us, not divides us, which means of communication can be used better, and how we can recog- nise society's needs better," he said. "The lesson is that when a party listens and debates, and recognises its challenges, good can emanate from this," the Na- tionalist leader added. NEWS Annual Orchestral Charity Concert featuring the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor Prof. Michael Laus with the participation of the Goldberg Ensemble at St John's Co-Cathedral on ursday 20 th June 2019 at 19.30 hrs A reception will be held aerwards. Entrance to the Concert and Reception is strictly by invitation Invitation-voucher(s) available from MASMOM offices, Casa Lanfreducci Pjazza Jean de Valette, adjacent to Our Lady of Victory Church,Valletta Tel. no.: 2122 6919 / 2124 6406 Annual Orchestral Charity e Maltese Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the St John's Co-Cathedral Foundation present their under the distinguished patronage of H.E. Dr George Vella President of Malta advertissement 2019 colour.indd 1 30/05/2019 12:29 MASSIMO COSTA A Mellieha apartment build- ing came crashing to the ground yesterday morning, with an elderly woman having luckily been rescued from in- side the debris. The four-storey building collapsed at around 6am in Main Street, Mellieha near the former Shoppers Super- market. Construction and excava- tion work was taking place in the plot of land adjacent to the building. Police and officers from the Civil Protection Depart- ment and ambulances were dispatched on site, but no in- juries were reported. Neigh- bouring buildings were evacu- ated. The government said after the incident that it was "very concerned" over what had happened. It said it had already inter- vened and was offering assis- tance to victims, emphasising that it would "continue to follow up and assist those in- volved in every possible way," and was sensitive to the issue. The government said it was "in the process" of setting up a new Construction and Build- ing Authority, with the main objectives of consolidating and updating the legislation related to the building and construction industry. "The existing responsibili- ties at law are clear," the gov- ernment underlined, "The new legislation will stream- line such responsibilities un- der one single code so that the remit of all the stakeholders involved in any construction or building project, including architects, engineers, con- tractors, project managers and project owners, amongst others, reflects new develop- ments in this industry." Responsibility must be shouldered – developers' lobby boss In comments to MaltaTo- day, Malta Developers' As- sociation president Sandro Chetcuti said the MDA was very shocked, and that it was evident someone would have to assume responsibility for what happened. Chetcuti said that it was a miracle that nobody was in- jured. "Immediately after being in- formed about what happened, I went to the site," Chetcuti said, "We are very shocked. Thank God, by some miracle, nobody was hurt." At this stage, he said it was only prudent that the MDA wait for the magisterial in- quiry, which was appointed to investigate the incident, to take its course. "But it is certain that some- one will have to shoulder responsibility for what tran- spired," Chetcuti added. Woman rescued Mellieha building The scene of yesterday's collapse in Mellieha, and (inset), Malta Developers Association president Sandro Chetcuti (centre) discussing the incident with authorities on site Kevin Cutajar is given the co-option; Jean Pierre Debono (right) withdrew his nomination for the Stellini seat co-option, in a bid to take the heat off Adrian Delia Cutajar takes Gozo seat by acclamation

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