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David Thake considers PN leadership bid

Will announce a decision when nominations open

David Thake believes the PN “should stand shoulder to shoulder with people in the street”.

David Thake believes the PN “should stand shoulder to shoulder with people in the street”.

Radio presenter David Thake is seriously considering running for leader of the PN but will only be announcing his decision when the nomination period opens in a week’s time.

The former Radio 101 talk show host and PN election candidate confirmed his interest when The Sunday Times of Malta sought his reaction in the wake of speculation that he was thinking of throwing his name into the hat. 

So far, Gozitan MP Chris Said and former Birkirkara FC President Adrian Delia are the only two who have declared their intention to contest.

The three-day nomination period opens tomorrow week. The winner, who for the first time will be elected by the more than 20,000 party members eligible to vote, will only be known in two months’ time.

If there are more than two candidates, a preliminary round will be held and the 1,500 party delegates will choose the final two for the September 16 run-off.

While both Dr Said and Dr Delia’s campaigns are in full swing, many within the PN camp feel it would be healthy to have a wider choice.

Despite the fact that the likes of MEP Roberta Metsola and MP Claudio Grech have been touted as potential candidates from day one, they are yet to pronounce themselves.

A spokesman for Dr Metsola yesterday told this newspaper that the MEP was considering what type of role she was best suited to play within the party structure.

Meanwhile, the possibility of Mr Thake’s nomination gathered mo­men­tum in recent days. 

Contacted by this newspaper, Mr Thake, who was a general election candidate on the eighth and 12th districts, confirmed his interest.

“I will be making an announce­ment when the nomination period opens,” he said.

He noted that he was being encouraged to enter the race not only by party members, delegates and MPs but also by the man in the street.

At this point in time I am waiting to know who those interested in the leadership are as I believe the party needs a certain type of leader to seriously challenge Labour at the next election.

“At this point in time I am waiting to know who those interested in the leadership are as I believe the party needs a certain type of leader to seriously challenge Labour at the next election.”

The new leader, he said, should be somebody who would transform the PN into a winning team and be fit for purpose as prime minister.

“Simon Busuttil was that person, however, the party that contested the last election did not satisfy the electorate’s requirements.”

While stressing the importance of unity, Mr Thake said the PN should take the bottom-up ap­proach and be “unequivocal” that justice must prevail at all levels of society.

He also said that until the party focused on the micro level, it would never get a shot at giving the country the PN’s macro vision.

“People in the street must know and must feel that the PN will stand shoulder to shoulder with them and those who have been denied promotions and a listening ear have to be given space. It is time the PN takes away from Labour this mantle of the party that listens to people’s needs.”

When it was pointed out to him that such an approach could be deemed a form of clientelism, he said that at the moment the PL was resorting to “unadulterated nepotism” towards anyone who waved Labour’s flag.

“If the PN is not prepared to do justice with those who are watching their careers go down the drain by being leapfrogged by the same people they had trained, we would be saying to everyone, vote Labour to protect your career,” he said.

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