[WATCH] After night of long knives, Adrian Delia says: ‘I am still Opposition leader’

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia says he is still Opposition leader, promises action against those who disavowed him • Rebel MP David Thake insists it's not game over yet

Opposition leader Adrian Delia
Opposition leader Adrian Delia

Messagg mill-Kap tal-PN Adrian Delia

Posted by Adrian Delia on Thursday, 9 July 2020

Updated at 10:25pm with David Thake comments

Adrian Delia has insisted this evening that he is still Opposition leader, suggesting that the coup to depose him has failed.

In a Facebook post, Delia said he was "hurt and angered" by the actions of those who tried to depose him as Opposition leader and pledged that action will be taken at the appropriate time within the party structures.

However, he also reached out to those MPs in the dissident group who are willing to discuss matters and reconcile.

Jien għadni l-Kap tal-Partit u l-Kap tal-Oppożizzjoni, għalik. Sibna quddiemna żminijiet diffiċli, żminijiet iebsa li...

Posted by Adrian Delia on Thursday, 9 July 2020

In a televised address on the party station, Delia said he was summoned by the President earlier today after MPs Chris Said and Claudette Buttigieg had informed him of the vote of no confidence and indicated Therese Comodini Cachia as the person who enjoyed support.

Delia said that the Constitution made it clear that Opposition leader should be the leader of the largest party in opposition.

He acknowledged that the Constitution also gave the President the power to remove him if he no longer enjoyed the trust of a majority of MPs.

“I have made it clear that I will stay on as PN leader in full respect of the mandate given to me by the party members. And the Constitution is clear that the leader of the largest party in opposition should be Opposition leader,” Delia said.

He added that the President kick-started the process to determine whether the 17 MPs who supported the no confidence vote will remain part of the PN on the opposition benches, and whether they will recognise Delia as Opposition leader.

The implication is that if the rebel MPs remain part of the PN, the President will have no option but to keep Delia as Opposition leader, otherwise they would have to form their own independent grouping.

It remains unclear how the situation will unfold. President George Vella spoke to some 10 MPs today and more talks are scheduled for tomorrow.

But in a Facebook comment this evening, one of the rebel MPs, David Thake, said Delia was only correct when declaring that he is still Opposition leader because the President had not yet concluded the exercise to determine what support he enjoyed.

Posted by David Thake on Thursday, 9 July 2020

Thake insisted that the Constitution made provisions for another member of the opposition to be nominated for Opposition leader if they enjoyed majority support.

"Our fight is to save the PN. My friends and I do not want to drive the party into the wall," Thake said, implying that there may be more damning information that could emerge against Delia.

READ ALSO: 

But the PN leader was defiant in his tone on Thursday evening. “The responsibility these MPs have to shoulder is big. I am still PN leader and will continue to shoulder my responsibilities. I will not take a step back and will not abandon the PN. I will not abandon those who love our country.”

He urged supporters to get behind the party in its fight against corruption and in favour of those who are suffering in this country.

“At this time, we should be working together. We should be fighting together to bring back three State hospitals,” he said.

“There are a few who can chose to disrupt things but I am convinced that true Nationalists will remain with us… Do not lose heart. I thank the hundreds if not thousands, who called or visited, or sent emails, or offered prayer over the past few days… this has helped. And to those who were going to give up their membership because of what was happening, I ask you to go forth and encourage others to join,” Delia said.

More in National