Delia awaits his fate as President ends marathon talks with PN MPs

President George Vella is expected to give his verdict after meeting Nationalist Party MPs after Adrian Delia lost a vote of confidence at the hands of his own parliamentary group

Therese Comodini Cachia exiting San Anton Palace after meeting President George Vella
Therese Comodini Cachia exiting San Anton Palace after meeting President George Vella

Adrian Delia awaits his fate after President George Vella ended a marathon of meetings with Nationalist Party MPs to gauge whether the Opposition leader still enjoys the support of his parliamentary group.

Vella is now expected to pass judgement on whether Delia should be stripped of his constitutional role and be replaced by Therese Comodini Cachia, who was proposed by 17 MPs.

Vella started the consultation process yesterday after Opposition MPs Chris Said and Claudette Buttigieg went to him to trigger the process to remove Delia from his constitutional role.

The MPs also proposed Therese Comodini Cachia as Delia’s replacement after an earlier attempt to convince Claudio Grech fell flat.

Comodini Cachia was summoned by the President for a meeting at San Anton earlier today. The meeting lasted just under 30 minutes, however, she was not the last PN MP to be summoned.

The move followed a vote of no confidence last Tuesday within the PN parliamentary group. Delia lost the vote by 19 votes against 11. The 19 votes include those of the PN’s two MEPs, which are irrelevant for constitutional purposes.

However, on Friday, MaltaToday was informed that one of the MPs who had supported Delia, shifted to the majority group.

After the vote, Delia vowed to stay on as party leader and yon Thursday evening insisted he was still Opposition leader.

READ ALSO: After night of long knives, Adrian Delia says: ‘I am still Opposition leader’

Vella started the day in Valletta, where he attended Mass on the occasion of Police Day. Afterwards, he headed to San Anton Palace for a series of meetings with the Opposition MPs.

Independent MPs Marlene Farrugia and Godfrey Farrugia also spoke to the President via an online platform, informing him that they supported Comodini Cachia as Opposition leader.

Constitutional advice released

Meanwhile, the 17 MPs opposed to Delia released the constitutional advice they sought from three legal experts on the way forward.

Constitutional law experts Austin Bencini, Kevin Aquilina and Giovanni Bonello have advised that the President was constitutionally bound to remove Delia if he ascertains that he lost the majority support of his MPs.

But they also insisted that the President would have to appoint the MP from within the PN who enjoyed the support of the majority of Opposition MPs.

Delia has insisted that as long as he stays on as PN leader, the President is constitutionally bound to appoint him as Opposition leader, unless the rebel MPs exit the PN and form their own grouping.

The constitutional advice received by the majority MPs was also handed to the President earlier today.

Read the advice given by the constitutional experts here: