[WATCH] Defiant Delia says his party will remain strong if PN head is also Opposition leader

Nationalist leader Adrian Delia says he wishes party leader and Opposition leader to remain one, insists he has no information that majority of his MPs are against him

PN leader Adrian Delia
PN leader Adrian Delia

Adrian Delia has remained steadfast in his refusal to resign, insisting this morning that the only party organ which could decide who leads the PN is its General Council.

In what appears to be a pre-emptive move in the eventuality that members of his parliamentary group take action to have him removed from leading the Opposition, Adrian Delia said that it is his wish that party leader and Opposition leader remain one.

The beleaguered Nationalist leader struck a defiant tone in comments to MaltaToday, saying that he had “no information” on whether the majority of his MPs were against his continued leadership.

Asked to explain what his intentions were - after he indicated on NET TV last night that he would not step down - Delia said he had always been clear.

“My obligations are both those of Opposition leader and leader of the PN, and I respect both institutions. They are different institutions. In one you are elected to represent according to the statute of the party, and in the other you represent the majority of your MPs in Parliament,” he said.

“My wish is that both roles remain one. If we manage to do this, then the Nationalist Party will be strengthened.”

Questioned on whether, in the current situation, he could still carry out his Constitutional duties as Opposition leader - given that the majority of his MPs no longer supported him - Delia cast doubts on whether this was truly the case, emphasising that he had no information on the matter.

Despite sources confirming with the media that 17 of his MPs had urged him to consider his position as party leader, Delia stressed that while “a lot of numbers were being mentioned” he didn’t “have that information”.

“I will not comment about a majority or not, because I have no information regarding the numbers which were mentioned in the press. I won’t speculate - I think you know by now that I don’t like to speculate. So it doesn’t make much sense to have a discussion on something which isn’t real,” Delia said.

“I am curious as to where [the information] is coming from, who put it there, who injected it in these particular days…” he said.

Prompted for a reaction on Louis Galea’s request for the party’s executive president to choose a new leadership team, Delia said that it was only the PN’s General Council which had the power to choose the party leader.

“The PN’s statute has not yet changed, and it is the General Council which decides the leader, not the executive," he said. 

"But, as always, I have no problem to discuss everything in any organ of the party, because I wholeheartedly believe in democracy and I believe that the Nationalist Party need to carry out internal debates right now about everything and everyone - about the systems, the reform, renewal, about the leadership, about the MPs… about all those who form part of the party,” he said.