Eddie Fenech Adami’s son-in-law cancels Nationalist Party membership/writes stiff letter to Jean Pierre Debono and makes it public

Published: September 24, 2017 at 1:43am

Kevin Cassar, a surgeon and associate professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery at the Malta Medical School, has cancelled his Nationalist Party membership and written a stiff letter to Jean Pierre Debono, the party’s scandal-torn assistant secretary-general, which he has made public.

Professor Cassar is a son-in-law of Eddie Fenech Adami, who Adrian Delia, the new party leader, has referenced constantly throughout his campaign and during his theatrical performance on stage in Floriana for the commemoration of Independence Day. Dr Delia’s comparison of himself to Dr Fenech Adami is viewed privately by members of that family as deeply offensive.

Professor Cassar, whose wife’s brother, Beppe Fenech Adami, remains the Nationalist Party’s deputy leader pending the election of his replacement later this year, wrote (in translation):

“I write to inform you that I am giving up my membership of the Nationalist Party and ask you to cancel my name from the list of life members. I have taken this decision for the reasons outlined below.

“1. Adrian Delia has been elected party leader. While I respect the decision of the party’s electors, I have reservations about Dr Delia. Some of his choices make it impossible for me to remain a member of the party.

“2.My doubts about Dr Delia, which he has not properly addressed, concern the matters about which the party’s Ethics Committee spoke, particularly his bank account in Jersey, the purpose of that account, the source of the money paid into it, and the ultimate destination of that money. I have serious concerns about his financial situation, the extent of his debts, and how – in his position as party leader – he can possibly settle those debts without becoming embroiled in other debts or obligations which may cause a conflict of interest. I have doubts and questions about how he intends to pay the Inland Revenue the many thousands of euros he has racked up in outstanding taxes and penalties. The fact that he has not paid the tax he owes raises doubts about his ethical standards and his suitability as leader of a political party. Nor has he kept his word when he promised to publish his tax returns.

“3. I have doubts about various choices he may have made and about the sort of work in which he was involved. These doubts have persisted because the new party leader has failed to give a satisfactory explanation.

“4. I am concerned about other cases which raise doubts about the party leader’s behaviour, notably those involving the Birkirkara Football Club and (Boris) Arcidiacono. Before his election, he assured us that there would be no problem finding a seat for him in parliament, and that the matter had been resolved, but after his election we found that the problem had yet to be addressed. This raises doubts about Dr Delia’s honesty, making it very much more difficult to believe him.

“5. The factor which most worries me is his talk about “the fight against hatred”. This is being used to justify assaults on those who hold the new party leader to scrutiny or criticise him, including journalists and even members of the Nationalist Party itself. At a time when democracy is under threat, freedom of expression should be safeguarded more strongly.

“Instead we have dangerous talk which incites people against those who are critical or who hold a different opinion. Incitement against the so-called ‘establishment’, which means those who worked with dedication and honesty, has led to threats, insults and divisive antagonism. All criticism and any revelation of facts is being labelled “hatred” as a way of escaping the need to explain oneself.

“This is the same tactic as that of describing facts and criticism as ‘fake news’, in which the primary purpose is to discredit all those make the criticism so that those who are criticised can escape the obligation to give a clear and honest explanation of their behaviour.

“In no time at all we have moved already into a personality cult in which any criticism is rebutted with personal attacks on the person making that criticism, making it clear that no criticism is tolerated at all. These are not the principles of democracy. They do not augur well for a political party that wishes to be healthy and open. The new way we were promised is changing before our very eyes into something that is not consistent with the principles that have long underpinned the Nationalist Party, and which our country now needs more than ever.

For these reasons, I feel I can no longer have anything to do with the Nationalist Party, and I am giving up my membership with immediate effect.”