[WATCH] Adrian Delia soldiers on: ‘The PN is in difficulty and I will not abandon it half way’

At the counting hall, Adrian Delia acknowledges the PN has a tough three years ahead of it and he will stay on until the next general election

Adrian Delia
Adrian Delia
'I will not abandon PN half way' - Adrian Delia

Adrian Delia has insisted he will not relinquish the leadership of the Nationalist Party despite a historic drubbing, insisting he could not abandon a party in difficulty.

“I don’t say this out of arrogance… the PN is in difficulty and I will not abandon it half way. We fail a lot in life… it is easy to celebrate in victory, the test is to pluck up courage and move ahead when things are tough,” Delia said.

He was speaking to journalists after visiting the Naxxar counting hall on Sunday evening. Delia thanked party volunteers, as he shook hands with them.

The scene contrasted with the absence of Delia’s predecessor, Simon Busuttil, who failed to turn up at the counting hall in the last general election. Delia visited the counting hall after delivering a message on NET TV in which he conceded defeat.

Delia said he would stay on until the next general election, adding he had been given a five-year mandate by party councillors.

“I have only been here for a year-and-a-half and I want to continue what I started. I am not a person who stops half way,” Delia said, acknowledging that things had to change.

Delia said the party had to listen to the message people delivered in the election and understand why they chose not to make the PN’s message theirs.

Asked about dissent within his parliamentary group, Delia said his door was open but it took two to tango.

“I have to start by looking at myself and one of the defects was that I did not find enough time to meet all the people individually. But we also have to widen the people and attract new blood, and looking to the next general election, we have to attract new candidates,” Delia said.

The PN leader said he was not contemplating a reshuffle of responsibilities in the parliamentary group.

“This is not something I was considering. I was following the outcome with tranquillity and I don’t think this election has any impact on how they discharge their parliamentary duties,” he said.

Asked about the Prime Minister's comment that the result was a rejection of those MEPs who berated Malta in Brussels, Delia insisted this did not appear to be the case because the majority of votes received by the PN went to Roberta Metsola and David Casa, the two MEPs in Muscat's line of fire.