Watch: Said highlights political experience as PN leadership battle cry

The Gozitan MP launches his leadership campaign

Video: Chris Sant Fournier

Updated 11.02am - Added video

Gozitan MP Chris Said has chosen to make his experience in politics his main battle cry for his leadership campaign.

Launching his campaign this morning in Safi, Dr Said said he knew the PN inside out, defects and all.

Taking a veiled dig at his inexperienced rival Adrian Delia, Dr Said said he would not need a “political manual” if elected as PN leader.

He said he had been militating within the PN for over 30 years, having worked his way up from the bottom.

With the PN pitched against a Labour Party with a number of fighters in its upper echelons, Dr Said said the party needed an experienced doer with a vision in order to take the PL juggernaut on.

Dr Said said his experience would allow him to start addressing the PN’s defects from day one.

'No time for a honeymoon period'

“There is no time for a honeymoon period or learning curves. The new leader would have to get right down to it”, Dr Said said.

In another dig at Mr Delia, he emphasised that the PN would be electing a political leader, not a company CEO.

Explaining his vision for the PN, Dr Said said he would seek to strengthen the party’s various sectional committees, and revive the idea of having street leaders to keep in contact with people.

He also vowed to spend one working day a week at a different PN club in Malta and Gozo. Dr Said said he would do this in order to make the PN’s leadership more accessible, instead of being locked up in an office.

Dr Said speaks to Times of Malta following the launch of his leadership campaign.Dr Said speaks to Times of Malta following the launch of his leadership campaign.

He said he wanted the PN’s clubs to again be transformed into an open space where political ideas would be discussed freely. These clubs would be opened up for commercial use as well, in order to contribute to the PN’s coffers, he said.

He spoke of the need for a detailed investigation into why the PN had lost so much support over the past years.

Dr Said said he would commission a study to analyse social and demographic changes, in order to have the data in hand to show why the PN was no longer at the forefront of social change. The aim, he said, was to once again have the PN leading social change instead of following it.

Explaining the rationale behind his campaign launch in Safi, Dr Said said the PN had in the past enjoyed a majority in the locality.

Dr Said said he would work towards once again winning back support in Safi, and other localities which have turned away from the PN.

The Gozitan MP reminded journalists that during his time as PN secretary general, he had managed to hit his targets by halving Labour’s advantage in the local council elections.

Focus on workers

Dr Said said his leadership would once again put workers at its heart, with a strategy for workers in industrial zones and PN representatives to serve as a point of contact with these workers.

Dr Said said he would be launching a number of other proposals over the coming weeks, including a strategy to fight the abuse of power of incumbency.

Asked if he would keep up the fight against government corruption, Dr Said replied that the election result had not wiped out past “illegalities”.

Under his leadership, Dr Said said efforts to fight corruption would be doubled.

No comment on Debono comeback

Questioned if he would allow former MP Franco Debono back within the PN fold, Dr Said said it was not ethical to discuss individual cases in public.

He said the PN’s door would be open to all “genuine people” ready to place the party’s and the country’s interests above their own.

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