PN Executive confirms its decisions against Franco Debono
Franco Debono has left PN headquarters, where the party's Executive Committee was meeting to consider a request to restore his position to how it was before he was censured and banned from seeking re-election under the party banner.
He made no comment.
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said the committee had not changed its position. What Dr Debono had done was politically unacceptable and the Executive therefore had a right and a duty to express itself, Dr Gonzi said.
He said the committee had heard Dr Debono's arguments on procedure but stuck to its decision.
Informed sources no motion was moved and no vote was taken.
The committee had censured and banned Dr Debono - along with Jesmond Mugliett and Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando - because they voted in parliament against the party whip.
Dr Debono is insisting that the committee's decisions were in breach of the principles of natural justice because he was not been given the opportunity to defend himself and because the committee - part of the Nationalist Party, could not be judge and jury.
Both Dr Pullicino Orlando and Mr Mugliett had declared, before the committee's decisions, that they would not intend to seek re-election. Dr Pullicino Orlando had resigned from the PN but kept his seat in Parliament as an independent MP in coalition with the Nationalist Party.
Dr Debono has already warned he is not prepared to support the government in the Budget unless his position within the PN is restored.
He has not said how he is planning his political future, but, tellingly, in his blog today he complained how difficult it is for an individual to get elected when he is not part of a party that can field candidates in all districts.
"I am informed that some people, especially disgruntled Nationalists feel the need and there is the will to start a new political party : the Maltese People's Party (Partit Demokratiku Nazzjonalista), and its first campaign would be constitutional reform and the reform of the electoral laws," he said.
Soon after the meeting started this evening, four fire-engines turned up to pump water from the basement of PN headquarters, which had flooded.