Debono 'sure' opponents of his possible election candidature would be a 'minority'
Rift with Beppe Fenech Adami continues to widen
A rift between Nationalist MPs Franco Debono and Beppe Fenech Adami continued to widen today, with the former accusing the latter of 'harassing' him for years.
Dr Debono said he was not surprised that Dr Fenech Adami had declared in an interview to blogger Andrew Azzopardi that he would vote against him if the PN Executive was to consider whether or not he should be an election candidate.
"I am sure he will be in a minority in the Executive," Dr Debono said. "This contrasts sharply with conciliatory statements in my regard by, among others Francis Zammit Dimech, Mario de Marco, David Agius and Edwin Vassallo and Chris Said statement in my regard."
"Dr Fenech Adami has been harassing me for years, for reasons that I cannot understand or explain, unless this was a sentiment of jealousy to my achievements," the criminal lawyer said.
He said that way back in 2009, when he had no differences with the PN and had not criticised it in public, Dr Fenech Adami had, according to l-orizzont, been behind manoeuvres to oust him from parliament at the next election and replace him by Herman Schiavone.
At the time he had initially not believed the report, he said. But later it transpired that Mr Schiavone had made an unfounded and false claim against him to Edgar Galea Curmi (head of the Prime Minister's secretariat) Dr Debono recalled.
It was only years later that the PN issued a 'weak and belated' condemnation with regard to Mr Schiavone. He asked if Dr Fenech Adami was behind this procrastination, adding that if that was the case he should be condemned by the Executive and he should be excluded from contesting the next election,
"The Executive Committee should enquire into the damage that Dr Beppe Fenech Adami inflicted on the prime minister and the party by doing his utmost to antagonise and undermine me over a period of years" Dr Debono said. He asked whether this related to Dr Fenech Adami's leadership or ministerial aspirations or whether it was vindictiveness because he performed better than him at the last election.
"He is angry because he knows that he has absolutely no chance of becoming party leader, and some months ago 6% of Nationalist voters indicated me as a potential party leader while he did not even feature in the survey," he said.
"Is he using me to get at the prime minister because he wants to become party leader, I don't know?"
Dr Debono said that Dr Fenech Adami had been 'chastised' within the PN for certain declarations he had made against him which were not in the interests of the prime minister or the party itself.
In his comments, given to interviewer Andrew Azzopardi, Dr Fenech Adami said that he had at an early stage recognised that the criticism which Dr Debono was making was not genuine, but based on his his ambition to become a minister.
Dr Debono had, a long time ago, started savage attacks against Carm Mifsud Bonnici because, in his view, he held the ministerial portfolio which by right, he should hold. Dr Fenech Adami said for him, this attitude was unacceptable.
Dr Fenech Adami said he had always wanted the truth about Dr Debono's agenda to be revealed. He said that when Dr Mifsud Bonnici was seriously ill in hospital, Dr Debono stepped up his attacks.
Asked what he would have done differently from the prime minister, Dr Fenech Adami said he was not the PM, and the PM had a wider perspective of things, but he would have stood up to Dr Debono earlier, as soon as he started his pantomimes in parliament.
Asked what he would do as a member of the PN executive if Dr Debono asked to stand for the forthcoming election, Dr Fenech Adami said Dr Debono crossed a red line when he voted against Dr Mifsud Bonnici. Should he seek the executive's approval to contest the election, he would vote against him.
Dr Fenech Adami praised Dr Gonzi as an excellent leader and said the PN deserved to win the next general election because of its achievements, particularly in jobs, health and education.
Asked whether he considered himself as a future prospective PN leader, Dr Fenech Adami said he did not like to speculate but said that in politics, one should go up a step at a time to have a sure footing. So far he had climbed three steps.