Why I am going to choose Adrian Delia | Andre Grech

Adrian Delia was not given the best opportunity to bring about the change within the party:  I am again ready to give Adrian Delia this opportunity, an opportunity that our party really deserves

Andre Grech is a member of the PN executive and president SMEPN

I have followed local politics since my childhood during the ‘good’ old days of Dom Mintoff and Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici’s Malta Labour Party. I have seen the rise from the ashes of the Nationalist Party, led by Eddie Fenech Adami, and his politics of reconciliation, restoration of democracy, liberalization of the market, restoration of human rights, and much more.

The Nationalist Party has been a force of influence, change and vision. Following its defeat, during the 1976 election, a new generation of politicians, the likes of Eddie Fenech Adami, Guido de Marco, Louis Galea, Ugo Mifsud Bonnici, and others, continued with their efforts to bring about the change they had stirred a few years back. It was a discussion which had openly exposed the cultural and political split that existed within the Nationalist Party. The aim of this new generation was to cut ties from the older generation of politicians and start addressing and handling things differently.   

Following Malta’s accession in the European Union, the good old days of the Nationalist Party started to dwindle. Ironically, the change that the accession brought about, had even culturally shocked the Nationalist Party. In my opinion, Labour failed to win the 2008 elections not due to the Nationalist Party’s merits, but due to the series of electoral defeats by the then leader Alfred Sant. Having said that, the Nationalist Party, within 14 months after winning the 2003 general election by 51.79% against the 47.51% of the Malta Labour Party, lost its first European Parliament elections in 2004. From then onwards its popularity with the people kept on dwindling to what it is today. The Nationalist Party has failed to get an absolute majority since the 2003 elections, for in 2008 it only won by a relative majority.

This clearly shows that the Nationalist Party has failed to be in synch with people’s expectations since 2004.

Now, looking back to what happened within the Nationalist Party in the seventies and what is happening now, in terms of leadership revolution, there is a huge similarity, but at the same time there is a stark contrast.

In those days, it was the newer generation of politicians that pushed and brought about the change, as against the ‘establishment’ that wanted to stay in control. Now, it is the older generation of politicians that are pushing to bring about a change, to retain the ‘establishment’. An establishment that is perceived by our society in general, as having brought about a series of defeats in huge numbers by the Nationalist Party; in 2009, 2013 and 2017, and in the 2019 European Parliament Elections. This due to the fact that Adrian Delia’s ‘New Way’ promise, was being obstructed by the establishment within the party.

Adrian Delia was not allowed to work freely within the party’s structures. In fact, it took him a couple of months, albeit COVID-19 earlier this year, to bring about the structural amendments that the party sorely needed.

In spite of all this, Adrian Delia was adamant to keep on working, not only for the benefit of the party but also for the whole country. Adrian Delia kept fighting all the corruption that engulfed our country. He solely went to court to fight the dirty, Vitals deal in order for us to get back what is ours by right. He worked hard to put the PN back on its feet even financially by embarking on new initiatives. The profits registered by the party in these last months speak for themselves. There was also an increase in the number of paid members and this is a proof of people wanting to be part of the PN. Other members and individuals also started taking part in clusters, encouraged by Adrian Delia in which individuals worked closely with MPs in putting forward suggestions.

Another fact is related to the PN clubs, those clubs in which the history of the PN was made and needs to be remade in the future too. Thanks to Adrian Delia, these clubs are still owned by the party, instead of being sold to outsiders as the previous party administration wanted to do. Surely Adrian Delia did not remain idle, even though the so-called rebels kept poking their spokes in the wheel that was given the go-ahead by the majority of the tesserati three years ago.

Last but not least, one cannot ignore the fact that the due diligence commission cleared Adrian Delia of all allegations that were showered on him for these last 36 months and more.

This is why I believe that as yet, Adrian Delia was not given the best opportunity to bring about the change within the party, so that it can part from its establishment, and move on to become a force which our country really needs, and really address the people’s expectations. I am again ready to give Adrian Delia this opportunity, an opportunity that our party really deserves.