Fenech Adami to contest PN deputy leadership
Azzopardi, Cassar and Said tipped to contest
Nationalist MP Beppe Fenech Adami yesterday confirmed to Times of Malta that he will be contesting the post of PN deputy leader.
Following weeks of speculation on whether the son of former Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami would throw his hat into the ring, the 44-year-old Birkirkara lawyer said he had already starting meeting councillors to lobby for the post.
“After much deliberation, particularly with my family, I have decided to contest,” Dr Fenech Adami said when contacted.
Asked whether he had considered going for the top job – leader of the party – Dr Fenech Adami revealed that many of his supporters had asked him to think about it but he felt he was in a better position to contribute as number two.
“In the current circumstances, it will be more beneficial for the party’s future if I contribute in the deputy leader post,” he said.
Although still relatively young, Dr Fenech Adami is considered a ‘veteran’ within the internal party structures, having been active in all the main events characterising the PN administrations since 1987.
A prominent member of the PN’s electoral machine, Elcom, he has been on the PN’s executive for years with a stronghold among the party’s grassroots.
He was always among the most popular candidates in executive elections he contested.
Dr Fenech Adami, an MP since 2008, is the second to openly declare his intention to contest the post of deputy leader following Claudette Buttigieg.
The TV presenter and former Eurovision singer won a seat in Parliament in the general election and she yesterday reconfirmed her intention to run for the senior role on May 25.
Sources close to the PNmentioned other possible contenders, including former ministers Jason Azzopardi, Chris Said and Joe Cassar.
But when contacted, former justice minister Dr Said said he had decided to go for the post of general secretary – a position elected by the members of the PN executive – and excluded contesting for deputy leader.
On the other hand, Dr Cassar said he was still contemplating his position.
“It all depends on who wins the leadership post,” Dr Cassar said, without elaborating.
Attempts to contact former land minister Jason Azzopardi were unsuccessful at the time of writing.
The first round of the election for a new PN leader will be held on Saturday.
PN insiders consider Mario de Marco and Simon Busuttil to be frontrunners although veteran MP Francis Zammit Dimech and entrepreneur Ray Bugeja also enjoy support.
According to the PN statute, the successful candidate must win two-thirds of the votes cast by councillors.
If no one manages to reach this threshold on Saturday, a second round will be held the following Wednesday.