MaltaToday | 06 April 2008 | Only 12% believe Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando was saying the truth

NEWS | Sunday, 06 April 2008

Only 12% believe Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando was saying the truth

James Debono

The number of Nationalists who believe Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando’s claims about the Mistra Spin Valley Disco application has fallen by 34% since the election, from 58% to just 24% today, a MaltaToday survey reveals.
The number of Nationalist respondents who think Pullicino Orlando was not saying the truth has risen from just 19% before the election to 31%.
A substantial 45% of Nationalist voters are now undecided on whether the popular MP was saying the truth or not before the election. This could be an indication that Nationalist voters are awaiting some sort of verdict from the Prime Minister, who has so far remained silent on this issue.
Even among Labour voters, a substantial 9% believed Pullicino Orlando’s version of event during the electoral campaign – confirming the effectiveness of the PN’s strategy of pitting Pullicino Orlando against Sant in the final days of the campaign.
In the survey, 340 randomly chosen respondents were asked whether they currently Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando’s pre-electoral declaration that he did not know the details of the Mistra case. They were also asked whether they had believed him before the March 8 election.
Overall, the number of respondents who believe Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando’s assertions fell from 32% before the general election to a mere 12% after the general election.
Before the election Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando claimed that he did not know the details of the Mistra application and that he had never met the developer of the proposed discotheque located in a protected area in Mistra.
He also claimed that he had nothing to hide and together with party general secretary Joe Saliba, he stormed in to a televised press conference organised by the Broad casting authority to face former MLP leader Alfred Sant, who turned down the challenge.
It was only in the final day of the electoral campaign, during a televised debate with Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, that Alfred Sant revealed a contract signed between Pullicino Orlando and the developers of the discotheque.
Despite these damning revelations, Pullicino Orlando was elected from two electoral districts, gaining 5,131 first count votes.
Yet despite his electoral success, Lawrence Gonzi did not choose Pullicino Orlando in his new cabinet.
A few days after the election, MEPA Auditor Joe Falzon published a report exposing various illegalities in the approval of the outline permit for the Mistra disco. The case is also being investigated by the police.
In the past weeks, pressure has been mounting on Pullicino Orlando to resign from parliament. Overall, while 46% believe that Pullicino Orlando should immediately resign from parliament, a substantial 24% believe that he should only resign if found guilty by a competent authority.
Nationalist voters are very divided on this issue. While 31% think that there is no reason for Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando to resign, 23% think that he should resign immediately. One third – 33% – think that he should only resign if found guilty.
While most respondents want Pullicino Orlando out of parliament, opinions are more divided on whether the PN should expel him from the party. While 34% agree with his dismissal from the party, 27% disagree.
Only 11% of Nationalist voters think that the PN should expel Pullicino Orlando from the party, but 33% think that the party should expel him if he is found guilty.
Although the Mistra case dominated the last week of the campaign, 73% claim that it had no bearing at all on their vote on March 8.
Among Nationalist voters only 9% claimed that the case had a strong bearing on the way they voted. On the other hand, among Labour voters 34% claimed that the case had a strong bearing on their vote.

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Only 12% believe Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando was saying the truth


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