Monday, 6 September 2010

Times: Engerer slated for Sliema deputy mayor

Monday, 6th September 2010 by Christian Peregin

Cyrus Engerer was instrumental in deposing mayor Nikki Dimech.

Sliema councillor Cyrus Engerer is next in line to become deputy mayor of Sliema unless the other councillors object.

The post of deputy mayor was vacated by Joanna Gonzi, who succeeded Nikki Dimech as mayor following a vote of no confidence in him last week.

Mr Engerer, 28, was the one who presented the motion of no confidence during the last council meeting and was instrumental in deposing Mr Dimech.

Mr Dimech was dismissed from the Nationalist Party after admitting in a police statement that he solicited a bribe on a council tender, an admission he later said was made under duress.

Mr Engerer will require the approval of the majority of the councillors at the next council meeting, which should be held on September 22. At the last election, he garnered the third largest number of votes among PN candidates, after Mr Dimech and Dr Gonzi, meaning he would be automatically considered for the post.

The backing of the five other remaining PN councillors who voted for the motion he presented to oust Mr Dimech would suffice for Mr Engerer to become deputy mayor.
His position will only be insecure if a more popular PN councillor is nominated with the backing of Labour councillors as well as Mr Dimech and former PN councillor Sandra Camilleri. Ms Camilleri resigned from the party to back Mr Dimech and said yesterday she would not support Mr Engerer.

In fact, he is not a favourite among the more conservative elements of the PN, particularly because of his firm stand on gay rights. Openly gay, Mr Engerer was very active in this year’s gay pride march where he was filmed kissing another man.

Labour councillor Martin Debono said he did not consider the position of deputy mayor to be very important and would leave the Nationalist councillors to fight it out among themselves.

“We haven’t yet discussed it. (The PN) has six votes so they can choose whoever they like... They can fight for it themselves,” he said, refusing to comment about Mr Engerer.

Ms Camilleri, 63, said Mr Engerer should have been the one who was kicked out of the party and not Mr Dimech because his unchristian stand meant he did not fit into a Christian Democrat party.

Referring to an interview where he was open about his views on gay rights, she said:

“... I don’t think he keeps to the ethics of the party... especially the way he took part in the gay pride parade: a front-liner kissing his partner. I mean, come on, there are gays and gays. There are nice gays but they keep a low profile, they don’t boast about it. In certain positions, I think they have to be careful.”

She added that Mr Engerer was intent on becoming deputy mayor and she did not like his attitude during the whole affair. “It was played well, you see. If Nikki gets out, Joanna gets in and so does he (Mr Engerer). I’m sure of it... They’re a nasty lot in there.”

When contacted, Mr Engerer dismissed the comments about his sexuality as “irrelevant” and denied his appointment was the result of a power struggle.

“Joanna was next in line and I was the third one. That’s how the system works. When we were elected we all worked together until we realised what was going on behind our backs,” he said, alleging that direct orders were being given to people without the council’s consent.

Asked what his priorities would be as deputy mayor he said: “We have three priorities: pavements, roads and cleanliness. That is what we should be working on as a council, not fairy-lights. Spending €300,000 on fairy-lights is a waste of money when the basic things aren’t yet done.”

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

1 comment:

  1. Prosit eh Ms Camilleri!!!! x naqra argument dak... she might be right at the strategic efforts of Engerer but how dare she attacks him on Not keeping a low profile.... should the LGBT community keep it low then according to her????!