[WATCH] Delia doubles down on Xarabank: ‘I enjoy the confidence of the majority of MPs’

Adrian Delia rules out power-sharing or resignation and hits out at MPs who want to call the shots

Adrian Delia on Xarabank
Adrian Delia on Xarabank

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia has likened himself to a captain who will be the last to leave the sinking ship that is the PN, and insisted he enjoys the confidence of his MPs.

As he faced his most trying week yet, with three major resignations from his allies, and facing an open rebellion among his own MPs, Delia appeared on Xarabank in a recorded interview in which he gave no indication that he would be stepping down.

His deputy leader Robert Arrigo, secretary-general Clyde Puli, and the president of the General Council Kristy Debono, submitted their resignations after a majority of MPs forming part of the PN parliamentary group asked Delia to step down. This was followed by a request to the party executive by Louis Galea, who was entrusted with the PN reform, to initiate a process for a change in leadership.

The leadership crisis came to a head after Delia told MaltaToday after a parliamentary group meeting that he will be leading the PN into the next general election. The crisis was exacerbated by the results of a MaltaToday survey released last Sunday, which showed Delia obtaining the worst trust rating in two years.

READ ALSO: The trust figures that spell trouble for Adrian Delia and the PN

“The members chose me… this party has a statute. If every time there is a survey we would have to remove a party leader, our political system would not work. If the leadership had to be threatened by a survey, should all MPs be removed at once when surveys are negative for the party?” Delia said.

Delia also referred to comments by President George Vella to MaltaToday who said he had no “concrete evidence” that the majority of MPs in the PN parliamentary group did not support him. “Is it being suggested that the Opposition leader be different from the person elected party leader by its members? I think that would be very damaging to the PN. I am the elected leader of the PN by our members, and I enjoy the confidence of the majority of MPs in the PN.”

Once again Delia also attacked the faction inside the PN which he claims acts out of “entitlement to a divine right to govern”. “We have to give the PN back to the people… it needs to represent the widest cross-section of people possible. My brief is clear: I will give the PN back to the people, with reform and renewal.”

Delia said the PN was led by a statute, and said he would not allow a small group of people to capture the party. “I cannot allow them, valid though they may be, decide today and forever who the leader of the party will be. If I accept that, it will create a precedent for all future leaders.”