Unity has to be achieved col­lec­tively, not by a sin­gle per­son – David Agius

Speaks to AGIUS, Na­tion­al­ist Party con­tender for the post of deputy leader for par­lia­men­tary af­fairs, who is also Party Whip; he in­sists that unity within the Party can­not be achieved by a sin­gle per­son but col­lec­tively

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - NEWS -

Will you re­tain your po­si­tion as the Party’s par­lia­men­tary whip if elected or will some­one else be cho­sen for the role?

This de­ci­sion will be in the hands of the Leader of the Op­po­si­tion.

Do you have any pref­er­ences for who is elected as deputy leader for Party af­fairs?

As I said pre­vi­ously, we all have the same vi­sion for our Party and I am ready to work with any­one who shares this same vi­sion.

There are still a num­ber of MPs, such as Jason Az­zopardi and oth­ers like David Grixti, still strongly crit­i­cis­ing the Party. Do you think they should just leave or step down?

As a Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, Jason Az­zopardi has a duty to pro­vide opin­ions, but with du­ties also comes re­spon­si­bil­ity. There are a var­i­ous chan­nels that can be used to pro­vide such opin­ions and one must con­sider this care­fully. On the other hand, David Grixti is not a Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment and as such falls un­der a dif­fer­ent cat­e­gory.

What do you be­lieve are the three most im­por­tant qual­i­ties a deputy leader of par­lia­men­tary af­fairs needs to have?

Just like any other MP, the most im­por­tant role for any deputy is first and fore­most to serve the na­tion. To do this we need to work to­gether as an Op­po­si­tion to strive for the best. We can only do this to­gether, so I be­lieve loy­alty is a very im­por­tant qual­ity. Loy­alty to the Party, as well as loy­alty to the peo­ple. Strong lead­er­ship skills as well as hu­mil­ity must work hand in hand to sup­port the role of Deputy Leader of Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs.

Fur­ther­more, 14 years of par­lia­men­tary ex­pe­ri­ence, nine of which as Party Whip and four as Chair­man of the Com­mit­tee for Con­sid­er­a­tion of Bills, to­gether with my nu­mer­ous par­tic­i­pa­tion in lo­cal and for­eign par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tees and par­lia­men­tary del­e­ga­tions, are surely an as­set when it comes to serv­ing as Deputy Leader of Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs.

Why do you want the PN coun­cils and mem­bers to vote for you?

I have bound­less en­ergy and ex­pe­ri­ence; the right com­bi­na­tion to ful­fil the role of deputy leader of Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs. This is ev­i­dent from the way I have worked for the past 14 years as an MP and nine years as a Whip.

PN coun­cil­lors and ‘ tesserati’ would also want a per­son that our new Leader of the Op­po­si­tion Adrian Delia can rely on while do­ing the Op­po­si­tion’s work in Par­lia­ment. An ex­pe­ri­enced per­son he can trust and rely on.”

What is your vi­sion for the Party? What will the Party’s ‘new way’ look like?

I con­sider lis­ten­ing to the peo­ple to be the cen­tral ap­proach to grasp the re­quire­ments of so­ci­ety. How­ever, just lis­ten­ing is not suf­fi­cient; we must lis­ten and un­der­stand. Our re­sponse will be in the way we lead the Party to be­come the Party of the peo­ple once again. Our re­ply will be in the way we will be more rel­e­vant and in touch with so­ci­ety. Of course, my vi­sion is not a sole one and I will fol­low in the tracks of the leader.

Will you help lead the Party in a con­ser­va­tive di­rec­tion or a more lib­eral one?

Each is­sue will be tack­led in­di­vid­u­ally and as deemed in the best in­ter­est of the peo­ple. While the Na­tion­al­ist Party will al­ways stand for what it be­lieves in, times are chang­ing and I will en- sure our ap­proach is for­ward look­ing while keep­ing our val­ues and mo­rals in check.

What do you be­lieve PN needs to do be­come re­electable again?

The PN Head­quar­ters should act as the stem from which ideas should flour­ish and evolve. The PN should demon­strate through its medi­ums how the Party’s philoso­phies will be por­trayed. Through this, the peo­ple can en­vis­age how the Party will ex­e­cute its ideas and con­cepts once in gov­ern­ment.

This strat­egy should also be re­flected in our par­lia­men­tary work.

If you are not elected as deputy leader, where do you see your­self work­ing in the Party? If you are not elected will you re­sign?

At this point there is no space for ego­tis­tic ways and it is my in­ten­tion to work for the Party where and as nec­es­sary to en­sure our vi­sion is achieved.

If you are not elected do you think you will be kept as Whip?

While this de­ci­sion will be made by the Leader of the Op­po­si­tion, I re­it­er­ate that at this point my core fo­cus re­mains on the best in­ter­ests of the Party.

Although we all have our dif­fer­ent method­olo­gies of work­ing, the main aim is the same. We all want to work to change the Na­tion­al­ist Party for the bet­ter, to serve as a good Op­po­si­tion, to bet­ter the na­tion and ul­ti­mately to be there for the peo­ple. I...

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