Delia to remain Opposition leader - President

President George Vella decides that, despite losing the support of the majority of his MPs, Adrian Delia will not be stripped of his Opposition leader role

Adrian Delia will not be removed from Opposition leader, President George Vella has decided
Adrian Delia will not be removed from Opposition leader, President George Vella has decided

Adrian Delia will remain in his role as leader of the Opposition, President George Vella said.

Vella said in a detailed statement on Monday afternoon that, despite establishing that Delia had lost the support of the majority of his MPs, he should not be stripped of his role of Opposition leader because he remained the leader of the biggest party in Opposition.

Vella confirmed that, from meeting with PN MPs, it had resulted that 16 had declared they have no confidence in Delia at Opposition leader, while 11 had said they still had confidence in him and one abstained.

He then quoted Article 90 (2) of the Constitution, which stipulates that the leader of the Opposition should be the leader of the biggest Opposition party in Parliament. “This sub-article makes it clear that the role of Opposition should be given to the leader of the party which has the biggest number of members in Opposition. It also specifies that this will apply 'Every time there is the need to appoint an Opposition leader',” Vella said.

“Whatever interpretation Constitutional experts give to this sub-article, it is certain that, in the present case, if it is decided that the present Opposition leader is removed from his role despite him remaining leader of his party, as is mentioned in the sub-article, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for him to make use of this provision,” Vella said.

“In my judgment, although Adrian Delia lost the support of the biggest single group of MPs in Opposition, for the role of the Opposition not to remain vacant, Delia should not be removed from Opposition leader because he is still the leader of the biggest party in Opposition.”

Discussions to rectify situation should continue

Vella said that his decision would “for now” halt the discussion about who should be appointed the new leader of the Opposition, including the proposal of PN MPs for Therese Comodini Cachia to be given the role.

He said, however, that his decision would not prevent “a continued healthy discussion on which measures can be taken to rectify the situation.”

Vella added that the situation where the majority of Opposition MPs had lost confidence in the Opposition leader was “unprecedented.”

“One trusts that measures will be taken, and that developments will happen to help clarify the situation,” the President added.

The full statement (in Maltese) by the President can be read below:

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