PN Leader Adrian Delia is accusing Bernard Grech’s team of attempting to influence Ruth Amaira – a journalist who was set to host a leadership debate next Monday.
As a result of this, Delia’s team alleged, Amaira informed the electoral commission that she will no longer be participating in this debate.
“Despite Dr Bernard Grech’s team’s resistance against having at least one debate between the two leadership contenders, the electoral commission decided that a first debate will be happening on Monday 28th September,” Delia’s team said.
“The commission chose the experienced and integral journalist Ruth Amaira as to host this debate. It is condemnable that Dr Bernard Grech’s team approached this journalist to attempt to influence her.”
The voting for the PN leadership election is set to kick off at 6pm today and will resume tomorrow. Due to COVID-19, the Nationalist Party has implemented a staggered voting approach, with the final voting day taking place on 3rd October.
“This led to Ruth Amaira informing the electoral commission that she no longer wishes to participate in this debate,” Delia’s team continued.
“We condemn the fact that journalists are not allowed to commit to their work without interference.”
Grech’s team has since responded to the allegations labelling them as “lies” and claiming that Amaira had made her decision to not host the debate prior to them contacting her.
“We note with regret that this is a lie and it is not true that any pressure has been put on any particular journalist,” Grech’s statement read.
“As soon as we were informed of the debate and that she would lead the debate, we made contact to talk about a format but the journalist immediately told us that she had already informed the Electoral Commission that she did not accept to lead the debate.”
It is a lie that there was some resistance on the part of Bernard Grech’s team to not hold a debate between the two candidates. Attention has been drawn many times to ensuring that the format used does not do more harm than good to the party as happened in the past when similar debates took place.”
“These attempts just before the vote starts are nothing but attempts to try and confuse the minds of voters. Bernard Grech’s team had a positive campaign without any attacks and will continue to do so until the end,” it ended.