Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Caruana to formally explore merger with Feetham

GSD Executive meeting last night - Dominique Searle reports

GSD leader Peter Caruana has confirmed that he is to meet Labour leader Daniel Feetham to discuss the question of a merger.

This was confirmed last night by Mr Caruana after the two hour session broke up at GSD’s new headquarters off College Lane. The executive has given its authority to Mr Caruana to proceed on this basis.

“The matter of merger of Labour into or with the GSD was fully discussed and I shall be holding formal talks with the leader of the Labour Party to discuss this proposition,” Mr Caruana told the Chronicle.

He will be in New York next week with Mr Feetham who has been attending the UN decolonisation committee sessions with Mr Caruana on a unity basis. But Mr Caruana said that nothing should be drawn in relation to the merger from the fact that Mr Feetham will be there in New York again next week.

“Whether he is there or not has nothing to do with this (merger issue) and he has attended before in his capacity as Labour leader,” said Mr Caruana adding that Mr Feetham will be there on the same basis of a unity position with Government.

Despite speculation, party sources played down the tensions at the meeting although there are known to be divided feelings about the merger and its management including the question as to the name of any merged party and the status Mr Feetham and any other Labour member would have.

The meeting which reportedly saw “lively and frank discussion” started at 6pm and ended shortly after 8pm.

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