11 SEPTEMBER 2002
CNI to change its position on EU
Former Maltese Prime Minister and leader of the Malta Labour Party who founded the CNI movement (Campaign for National Independence) yesterday dumped the movement to form an alliance with another former Labour Party Prime Minister - Dom Mintoff.
Despite being criticised by Mintoff himself as "being my worst decision in putting KMB as leader of the MLP", Dr Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici still found it fit to betray his movement and join forces with Mintoff.
In a news conference held yesterday, Dr Mifsud Bonnici said that while the CNI stands against Malta's EU accession, the new movement, Front Maltin Inqumu, is not necessarily against EU membership but stands against the way negotiations are being carried out by the government.
Asked what led him to the monumental decision to join Mintoff when he had declared "never say never" to EU accession, Dr Mifsud Bonnici said that even the CNI would change it's position now and will focus its attention more on the agreements being reached between the EU and the Maltese government.
In fewer words, this means the CNI is to become a carbon copy of the new movement, but Dr Mifsud Bonnici nevertheless still felt the need to change allegiance.
As far as the referendum is concerned, Dr Mifsud Bonnici said he would not mind if a boycott would come into force. The former Labour leader also said the referendum would not be valid if more than 50 per cent of the population were to abstain.
He also said that the CNI wants its fair share of space on the Public Broadcasting Services to voice its opinion against EU membership, while also protesting over the series of political broadcasts are now at a standstill.
The former Prime Minister also spoke about a possible attack on Iraq by the United States and Great Britain, Moslem terrorism and suicide attacks as forms of terrorism.
Now that Dr Mifsud Bonnici has left the CNI the leadership of the movement will pass to Professor Albert Leone Ganado.
Speaking to this newspaper yesterday, CNI spokesperson Toni Abela commented that he wished Dr Mifsud Bonnici the best of luck, but also expressed a degree of exasperation over the move, saying that he hopes the former Premier has made the right decision.
Abela also expressed a sense of bewilderment over Dom Mintoffs choice to start a movement when negotiations were already in their final stages.
Abela, despite Dr Mifsud Bonnicis resignation from the movement, said that he would stay on at the CNI.