Bernard Grech says he has no proof of Mario Galea’s claims on mental health taunts

PN leader Bernard Grech sticks to ‘regeneration plan’ story on veteran candidate exodus, says party requires a mixture of new blood and experience

Mario Galea pulled out of the election race along with three other incumbent MPs
Mario Galea pulled out of the election race along with three other incumbent MPs

Bernard Grech has promised action against anyone who taunted Mario Galea because of his mental health but insists he has no proof to that effect yet.

The Nationalist Party leader was asked about claims made by Galea after the latter withdrew his election candidature on Monday.

Taking questions from journalists on Wednesday after outlining the PN’s proposals for Gozo, Grech said it does not result to him that Galea was pressured to retire from the election race.

“It does not result to me that the shortcomings Mario Galea spoke of occurred. If it is proven by facts that it is true, action will be taken,” Grech promised.

On Monday, three nationalist MPs – Kristy Debono, Clyde Puli and Mario Galea – made simultaneous announcements that they would not be contesting the general election. Later in the evening, Claudio Grech also announced he would not be contesting, during a PN event in St George's Square, Valletta.

Hours later Galea rejected claims by the PN leader that there was consensus to withdraw his candidature, and said many party insiders made his life “hell”.

READ ALSO: Mario Galea speaks out after withdrawing PN candidature: ‘They made my life hell’

But on Wednesday, Grech stuck to his guns and insisted a “regeneration plan” was the sole reason behind the decision by four party MPs to retire from the race on the first day of the election campaign.

“Now more than ever the country requires a unified, strong and regenerated PN team. I respect the decision of those not contesting the general election to make way for others. 

Yesterday evening we approved four new candidates but I do not exclude new ones will emerge,” Grech said.

Asked whether the regeneration plan was consistent with the fact that veteran PN MP Beppe Fenech Adami is contesting the 9th District instead of Kristy Debono, Grech said he never wanted to remove everyone from the party.

“I never said I wanted to remove everyone from the party but I spoke of a need for new faces. I believe that a regeneration is required but the PN requires a mixture of new blood and experience,” he said.

READ ALSO: New PN candidates, Fenech Adami moved into ninth district