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News • February 15 2004

Online battle for the leaders

Kurt Sansone
The PN leadership battle has extended its campaign territory to the virtual world of the internet, leaving no stone unturned in the first week of electioneering by the three hopefuls.
John Dalli and Louis Galea have both launched revamped official sites to coincide with the beginning of the race. For Lawrence Gonzi the first week of the campaign was rather quiet and his only presence on the Internet has been an unofficial site bereft of glamour and very amateurish in outlook and presentation.
It was John Dalli who conquered the online territory first, launching a radically revamped website, which is cleaner and easier to browse than its predecessor. On Monday, Louis Galea launched his leadership website with a photo of him addressing a PN club meeting with the words ‘Louis Galea for leader’ imprinted in orange. greets users with a plain blue background and two photos depicting John Dalli sitting next to Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami and another one showing Dalli shaking hands with well-wishers during last year’s election campaign.
The site also has links to Dalli’s profile, press articles and speeches, a photo gallery and a password protected forum, kgpn (Kunsill Generali PN). is simple to navigate, but has too many links on the home page which could possibly distract users from the main focal point; the leadership campaign. A prominent link is Louis Galea’s leadership inaugural speech at the Zebbug PN club.
The site also has links to photos of Louis Galea on the campaign trail, press releases, articles and a profile spanning the 33 years Galea has been involved with the Nationalist Party. The site also contains a forum area where people can post their comments.
Lawrence Gonzi’s unofficial site,, is hosted at one of the free-hosting internet sites called 20m. It is a very simple site with six links on the home page. The front page depicts a photo of Lawrence Gonzi under the headline, ‘The man of the people.’
Displayed prominently on each page is Gonzi’s campaign slogan, ‘Together we will determine the future’ (Flimkien niddeciedu l-gejjieni).
Nobody claims responsibility for the site and mid-week the site contained a number of spelling mistakes, which were corrected later on in the week. A particular striking photo is to be found in the News link depicting Joe Saliba lifting Lawrence Gonzi and embracing him while celebrating the 2003 election victory.
The photo is very telling of the mood at PN headquarters where Gonzi enjoys wide support among party officials, MaltaToday was told by party activists.
As the days roll by the three contestants are expected to flood the virtual campaign space with email traffic in a bid to reach councillors in every possible way.


Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann SGN 02, Malta