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Robert Arrigo, Edwin Vassallo submit nominations for PN deputy leader posts

Vassallo says he will bow out if Chris Said joins the race for deputy leader, parliamentary affairs

Updated 4.22pm - Nationalist MPs Edwin Vassallo and Robert Arrigo have submitted their nominations for the posts of PN deputy leaders.

Mr Vassallo is seeking the post of deputy leader for parliamentary affairs, while Mr Arrigo is hoping to become deputy leader for party affairs.  

At a press conference this morning, Mr Vassallo declared he would be sticking to his Christian and democratic values and would never change his values for the sake of winning.

"I will not be a populist," he said. He had announced his intention to contest the deputy leadership last month.

Mr Vassallo was the only MP to vote against the introduction of gay marriage earlier this year, going against the party whip.

Although his act of insubordination had put him in the line of fire, it had also earned him the respect of more conservative PN voters.

The MP had said he had a duty to shoulder this responsibility and help take up the party's call to work for its unity and contribute to help strengthen it and help it regain the people’s confidence.

Vassallo reiterates he would make way for Said

PN whip David Agius is also expected to seek the post of deputy leader for parliamentary affairs. However, there is pressure for him to make way for Chris Said, who lost the leadership election last month. 

Dr Said has accepted to run for deputy leader, on the condition that he runs uncontested.

Mr Vassallo has already made it clear he is ready to step aside should Dr Said decide to run for the post.  

'Comodini Cachia should not go through what I went through'

Asked about MP Therese Comodini Cachia's request for a free vote on the legal notice granting 100 hours of leave to same-sex couples and infertile women seeking IVF treatment abroad, Mr Vassallo said that contrary to Dr Comodini Cachia he did not agree with the legal notice, but he agreed with a free vote.

"I would not want Dr Comodini Cachia to go through what I went through in June," he said.

Dr Comodini Cachia is vociferously against Dr Delia's decision to oppose the notice.

Arrigo submits his nomination

Robert Arrigo submitted his nomination to become PN deputy leader for party affairs in the afternoon, saying he felt up to the task, especially as it involved organisation and marketing.

Mr Arrigo said he hoped to head a network of people who could help the Nationalist Party in various sectors. He also hoped to be in a position to ensure that party headquarters was geared for the party’s needs and the party was active within the country’s towns and villages.

He said he was confident that his background and personal success would stand him in good stead and he promised that if elected, he would give his ‘100 per cent’.

Nominations for both posts close on October 13. The new deputy leaders will be elected by the party membership in November. 

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