Marlene Farrugia: Democratic Party will not consent to pull out of casual election to make way for Delia

Published: September 18, 2017 at 9:32am

Unless that member of parliament was himself or herself elected in a casual election, the resignation of a member of parliament triggers a casual election in which all those from the same party who were on that same ballot list can participate. The participation is not automatic: the candidates have to formally confirm their interest.

The Nationalist Party can arm-twist, blackmail, bribe or otherwise persuade the actual Nationalist candidates not to participate in the casual election, leaving the seat empty and free for Delia to be co-opted into it. But there’s a problem: on the ballot list for every district there is at least one and in some cases several candidates who are officially on the Nationalist Party list but who are actually designated as “orange” – in other words, for the Democratic Party. Delia and his establishment have no influence over those.

Last Friday, I rang Marlene Farrugia to ask her directly whether her people will consent to stay out of a casual election to leave a seat clear for Delia. She said that at that point she was still hoping that Chris Said would be elected and that no such considerations would be necessary. She and her colleagues would take a decision after the result was out, she told me.

I didn’t call her again yesterday, having planned to do so today. But late last night, by way of an answer, she sent me a screenshot of a question she had received from L-Orizzont and her reply. I was sitting in a restaurant and burst out laughing.

Her barb is without doubt a reference to Delia’s unpleasantly chauvinistic and backward “can’t cook, won’t cook” answer to an interview question published in a newspaper recently. A man with five children who says “won’t cook” and is admired for it, on the understanding that he can dump it all on women and paid servants? Only in macho pits Malta. Suppose his wife were to take the same attitude. What then?