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MALTATODAY 31 July 2022

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NEWS 16 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 31 JULY 2022 PN has new deputy leader PN leader Bernard Grech (left) with Alex Perici Calascione, a one-time leadership contender in 2017 ALEX Perici Calascione was yes- terday elected depute leader of the Nationalist Party, in what was for many a foregone conclusion, since he was the only candidate to run for the post. Under the new party statute adopted in 2021, the PN must hold an election for its leader and deputy leader after losing a gen- eral election. Bernard Grech was confirmed as leader with 81% of the vote within the general council. A call was then issued for nomi- nations for deputy leader: Perici Calascione was the only one who threw his hat in the ring. In yesterday's vote within the general council, he obtained 976 votes, or 90% of eligible votes. 104 councillors voted against him. In the past, Perici Calascione served as PN treasurer and presi- dent of the executive committee. He had contested the 2017 lead- ership election and was also an MEP candidate. As part of the 2021 statute re- form, only one deputy leader is to be elected. Before Perici Ca- lascione, Robert Arrigo served as deputy leader for party affairs with David Agius, who was dep- uty leader for parliamentary af- fairs. After submitting his nomina- tion, Perici Calascione had told MaltaToday that he strongly believed the PN could return to winning ways. said that the PN's new deputy leader – of which there will now be one and not two, like at pres- ent, following changes to the par- ty statute in 2020 – should focus on the party's core structures. He said he was not disheart- ened by the 40,000 vote deficit the PN suffered in the latest elec- tion, though he was disappoint- ed. "I am the first to admit that the worst thing politicians suf- fer from is disillusionment, but I firmly believe that we have the people and tools necessary within the party to start making a differ- ence once again," he said. "If that were not the case, I would not have thrown in my application for the deputy lead- ership."

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