Delia on Dissett: ‘Another vote of confidence would be ridiculous’

PN leader insists he will persevere as leader despite open rebellion by MPs

Adrian Delia on Dissett
Adrian Delia on Dissett

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia has ruled out seeking a vote of confidence to secure his leadership in the face of an open rebellion by at least half his parliamentary group.

Delia told TVM head of news Reno Bugeja on Dissett that he would be ridiculing the PN by going for a third vote of confidence. “The circumstances have not changed,” Delia insisted. “It was just one survey,” he said referring to the MaltaToday survey that showed him at his lowest trust rating ever and which pushed MPs to demand he leaves.

“My perseverance is not obstinance. I am persevering in something because people elected me to be leader. The question is, who do I listen to: the people who elected me, or the few who have decided they don’t want me?”

Delia also said there was no majority of MPs endangering the confidence he enjoys as Opposition leader.

But he refused to speculate on a power-sharing option should the President of the Republic be convinced that a majority of PN MPs do not give him their support. “That situation does not exist,” Delia declared.

“For the PN to return to the people, musical chairs will not solve the problem: we have to endure this process, painful as it might be,” he said.

But Delia defended himself from accusations that he had told the press he would not step down just minutes after emerging from a meeting in which MPs asked him to consider his honourable exit.

Delia’s leadership has been rocked by his MPs’ open rebellion, leading to the resignation of allies like deputy leader Robert Arrigo, secretary-general Clyde Puli, and General Council president Kristy Debono. Former media chief Pierre Portelli had left months ago, leaving Delia increasingly isolated inside the party’s top echelons.

Delia sounded confident in saying that the investigations concerning the corporate services he gave to a Maltese property owner in London, which properties were used as brothels, were being used to hold him at ransom. “In three years, this investigation has never spoken to me,” he said, attacking the government for having captured state institutions like the police and the FIAU. “I did not launder any money or take any money from illicit activity. If the police wants to investigate, let it investigate… otherwise the threats should stop.”

Delia disputed suggestions that he was using his position as Opposition leader to protect himself from such police investigations. “I campaigned on and criticised these institutions… had I been trying to protect myself, I would not have done so.”