Nationalist Party secretary general Clyde Puli has denied pushing Gozitan candidates to contest the co-option exercise the PN will carry out on Saturday to replace David Stellini, who resigned his parliamentary seat.
In a letter he made public, candidate Joe Ellis said he was refusing the invitation to put his name forward to be co-opted to Parliament after a call he had received from Puli. Ellis said that the ideal candidate should be Kevin Cutajar, who narrowly lost a vote taken in the PN executive committee last week to Jeab Pierre Debono, only for the latter to renounce the seat in the wake of controversy surrounding the vote.
But, in a letter he sent to Ellis today, Puli said it was never his intention to be understood that he was encouraging Ellis to contest. Puli said that his intention was to inform all candidates who represented the PN in the last general election that the party wants that the seat vacated by Stellini should be filled up by a candidate from the 13th district, from where Stellini had been elected.
The idea was to see whether Ellis was interested to contest, and that he had called all other candidates who had contested the 13th district. He said the calls were made because the criteria for the election had changed.
Puli said that the letter made public by Ellis gave rise to misinterpretation by sections of the media, and said that he had hoped that in this delicate moment for the PN, Ellis would have been more cautious or that he later corrected the misinterpretation.
Puli said that his phone call could in no way be interpreted as an encouragement, but only to serve as information to Ellis, as he had done with other candidates on the 13th district.
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