Sunday, 17 July 2011

MaltaStar: PBO asked me to resign – Cyrus Engerer
16 July 2011 10:43

According to former PN Sliema local councilor, Cyrus Engerer, PN secretary General Paul Borg Olivier had asked him to resign from the Council once he decided to leave the Nationalist Party.

"They did ask me to resign- even though I specifically told the party that I would not be representing the Labour party within the Sliema Local Council. I took this decision because I was elected by nationalists- and I need to represent them," he said during a programme on One Radio with Manuel Micallef this morning.

During the interview, Engerer explained how PN meetings were very hard for him because members of the party were increasingly hostile towards him.

"They would tell me things like- you cannot be trusted because you were in favour of divorce, and you were in Stand Up and you became close to people like Nikita Alamango- and I would end up sitting there thinking to myself, where is the inclusion that we publicly speak about so much?"

"I am the same Cyrus- I have principles and these principles have never changed. I had the same principles in 2003, 2009 and even today- I've kept my principles and ideology. I've only changed my party."

Engerer also revealed that he wasn't the only person within the party who feels excluded because of his or her liberal ideology.

"There are people in the nationalist party - from every single level of the party - who feel the way I do," he said. Neverthless, there are also those nationalist officials who said "good riddance" to him once he left the party.

According to Engerer this proves that the party is not at all inclusive.

Cyrus went on to explain that he specifically left the party because, although he tried very hard to change the party's mentality- he couldn't manage to break down the staunch conservatism that he experienced in the Nationalist Party. This reasoning was not accepted by the Nationalist party- who accepted his resignation but not the reasoning behind it.

He also lashed out at various PN officials such as Austin Gatt.

"Austin Gatt spoke out last week and said we need to ask candidates what their position is on moral issues. Isn't this closing the door as a party? How can we say that we accept everybody, if we do something like this? What isn't right is that Gatt comes out and says this, but then on the other hand Paul Borg Olivier says that we are a party which listens to everyone. The party tries to make it seem like everyone is welcome- they say things like, 'join us- we accept liberal people, look we have Cyrus!' but then in reality they don't truly accept liberals within the party."

He also lashed out at the PN for not attending various activities such as a seminar on Gay marriage organized last week . The nationalist party only sent one representative to the meeting., MP Dr. Stephen Spiteri.

o "Dr. Spiteri came to the seminar and did not say that maybe people like me should be granted certain rights and be considered equal in society. What he said was that that as a doctor he could assure us all that to be Gay isn't a disease that can be caught or passed on. I felt so offended by this" said Engerer.

Engerer went on to speak about the divorce issue. He expressed his admiration for Dr. Michael Gonzi, the prime minister's brother- who had the guts to vote against his own brother, explaining that to do otherwise would be to betray the nation.

Speaking about his future plans, Engerer claimed that he is ready to work within the Labour party.

"I thank everyone for welcoming me. I feel really welcome in this movement- but now it is time to work"

Explaining by he chose to align himself with the PL, Cyrus Engerer said, "I spent a long time talking to different people such as Nikita Alamango, Daniel Micallef and even Aaron Farrugia- and I realized that we share the same principles and ideals, but the difference was that they belonged to a movement which accepts that. They belong to a movement that makes them feel comfortable. I took the decision to join this movement and I was made to feel very welcome. I'm very ready to start working now."

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