Updated - Fenech Adami denies voting against the party line in 1974
Updated - Adds explanation by PN General Secretary Paul Borg Olivier
President Emeritus Eddie Fenech Adami has contradicted Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando's claim that he voted against the party line in 1974.
Speaking in a long One TV interview this morning, Dr Pullicino Orlando said that during the vote in Parliament on the Republic Constitution in 1974, Dr Fenech Adami voted with Dom Mintoff and against the party line and that of his leader Dr George Borg Olivier. He did so, Dr Pullicino Orlando said, against the directives of his party.
That, Dr Pullicino Orlando said, was far more serious than his own vote in parliament on the motion for the resignation of Mr Cachia Caruana.
But in a reaction, Dr Fenech Adami said the PN parliamentary group had actually decided to vote in favour of the constitutional amendments in 1974.
"Then there were six dissidents... Among them was (then PN leader) George Borg Olivier, who said everyone should have a free vote since there was no unanimous agreement."
"But the party's decision – and I played a primary role in ensuring this – was that we should vote in favour of the amendments."
Dr Fenech Adami said Dr Borg Olivier wanted to vote 'no' because he wanted to keep the British monarchy as the head of State. However, he was only joined by five other MPs.
He accused Dr Pullicino Orlando of not knowing the facts and making wrong comparisons between his recent actions in Parliament and a "completely different" situation which had developed in 1974.
PN GENERAL SECRETARY EXPLAINS
PN General Secretary Paul Borg Olivier in a similar denial, explained that on November 29, 1974 a majority of the PN Executive and the Parliamentary Group voted in favour of the Constitutional amendments but the party leader requested 'a reserve in the sense that the vote of the Executive does not bind the MPs.'
The majority of the Nationalist MPs in Parliament voted according to the vote of the Executive while respecting the reserve requested by Dr George Borg Olivier.