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Busuttil: Schembri has a Nationalist face

Nationalist Party deputy leader Simon Busuttil said the Labour Party was trying to project a new image using people such as candidate Deborah Schembri, who “has the face of a Nationalist”.

I didn’t know I had such a coloured face

Even though the Labour Party had repackaged itself, it had not changed, Dr Busuttil said yesterday during a televised political debate organised by the Broadcasting Authority.

Instead “it uses people like Deborah who has the face of a Nationalist” but “under the wrapping” there was still the old party, he said.

His statement caused giggles on the other side. “It’s the first time I’m hearing I have the face of a Nationalist – I didn’t know I had such a coloured face,” she said.

She turned to Labour even though she was a Nationalist, she said, because she believed in its values and no longer felt an affinity with her old party.

Dr Busuttil said he was sorry she had gone over to the Labour Party. “I wanted you to think after the divorce referendum took place and come with us,” he said.

During the debate, he strongly denied claims by Labour Home Affairs spokesman Michael Falzon that a Nationalist Government was trying to subtly introduce payment for medicines. It would offer a refund – and not payment – for out-of-stock medicines in exceptional cases, he said.

Dr Falzon also insisted healthcare would remain free under a Labour government and held up a copy of the party’s electoral manifesto, which was launched last night during an extraordinary general council.

The party’s proposals included more access of information and placing draft laws online.

Nationalist MP Edwin Vassallo contested statements by Dr Falzon and Dr Schembri that the party’s slogan Malta For All was true.

To prove his point, he held up a copy of The Sunday Times interview with ex-Labour deputy leader Anġlu Farrugia accusing party leader Joseph Muscat of “political murder”.

“You have a deputy leader, one of your colleagues, talking about political murder. Tell him that Malta is for all,” he said.

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