JPO: I should have resigned earlier, I feel liberated
'I still feel Nationalist'
Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando said today that he regretted not having resigned from the PN earlier.
"I feel liberated," he said in his second interview in four days on One TV.
He said he felt liberated because the PN had been hijacked, emasculated and poisoned by Richard Cachia Caruana and Austin Gatt.
While saying that he still felt 'a Nationalist' Dr Pullicino Orlando said he was fed up of personal attacks and intimidation by people who were in the same party as himself.
He reiterated that he would continue to collaborate with the government on the points listed in the electoral programme but said it would be a mistake by the prime minister if he did not consult him on a one-on-one basis as agreed, on matters which were not specifically mentioned in the electoral programme. This also included the Budget.
To be consulted was not something extraordinary, Dr Pullicino Olando said, Indeed, that was what had been lacking within the PN group over the past four years.
His absolute loyalty was to his constituents and their mandate, Dr Pullicino Orlando said.
Replying to further questions, he said it was up to the prime minister to decide whether he needed to call on the President, continue his legislative programme or call an early election.
Asked whether Malta now had a coalition government, Dr Pullicino Orlando did not give a direct reply, explaining only how he intended to collaborate with the government on the issues listed on the electoral programme and how he expected to be consulted on other measure. Everything would be handled on a case-by-case basis.
He confirmed that he had sent an e-mail to the Speaker to discuss the situation and procedure.
Asked where he would sit in Parliament, he jokingly replied that he would like to be the furthest away possible form Austin Gatt.
Dr Pullicino Orlando said he had no contact with Opposition leader Joseph Muscat.
Earlier in the interview Dr Pullicino Orlando said he was disappointed by the way matters had unfolded in the PN Executive on Tuesday. He was disappointed how some members of the Executive dismissed the sworn declarations of Labour MP Karmenu Vella and Joe Mizzi, simply because they were Labour.
He was very disappointed that Dr Gatt had wrongly alleged on Tuesday that he had told him that unless he was handed a ministry, there would be trouble. This was something he had strenuously denied.
Dr Pullicino Orlando said he still felt Nationalist. He had been an active Ntionalist since his teens, he was elected by PN supporters, but the team had fallen apart. One only needed to see how John Dalli had been framed by people within the PN, and those who hatched this frame-up had been promoted. That was why he was now distancing himself from the PN.
He, however, had no personal difficulties with the prime minister and yesterday's meeting was very cordial, he said.