[WATCH] Delia hopeful PN executive will see party interest first

The Nationalist Party’s executive committee will be meeting today to discuss the way forward for the party 

PN leader Adrian Delia
PN leader Adrian Delia

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia has insisted tonight’s executive committee meeting should keep the party’s interests at the forefront.

The Nationalist Party’s executive committee will be meeting today to discuss the way forward for the party.

Opposition leader Adrian Delia emerged triumphant as the Constitutionally recognised leader of the party in opposition, despite 16 MPs out of his 28 declaring to the President of the Republic they had lost trust in him.

On Monday, President George Vella said that, despite having confirmed that Delia had lost a no-confidence vote, he would not be removing him from Opposition leader because he remained the leader of the largest Opposition party in Parliament.

“There needs to be a free discussion, as I have always allowed, but tonight’s principal focus should be the interest of the party and how it can present itself as an alternative government,” Delia said. 

“The PN executive is a political forum and so it is a place where everyone should be allowed to express themselves. It is difficult to weigh everyone’s sentiments, I augur that everyone puts at the forefront the interests of the party.”

Despite acknowledging that his leadership will be debated tonight, Delia said he is hopeful that the discussion will still be focused on party affairs. 

“The executive meeting tonight was initially planned to discuss party structures made vacant by the statute reform,” he said. 

Asked whether he would be forwarding a censorship motion against the MPs who expressed distrust in his leadership, Delia played down the question. 

“The discussion tonight should be centred around what is happening politically in our country, so that the PN can adapt itself better.” 

MP Hermann Schiavone
MP Hermann Schiavone

MP Hermann Schiavone, who used to support Delia’s leadership, but voted against him in the confidence vote forwarded by the rebel MPs, insisted the country needs a strong opposition.

“My biggest loyalty is to the party, and the party for a number of reasons, which might not always be Delia’s fault, is always doing worse in the poll,” he said. 

Schiavone also agreed that a leadership contest should be called. 

MP Therese Comodini Cachia
MP Therese Comodini Cachia

Therese Comodini Cachia, who has been chosen by the rebel MPs as an interim opposition leader called on unity in the party. 

“I have only one reaction, the PN has always sought unity, and will continue to do so,” she said. 

She did not answer to questions on whether MPs who had voted against Delia’s leadership would be taking constitutional action against the president’s decision. 

Executive member Andre Grech, who had called for action to be taken against MPs who backed a new Opposition leader, said that democracy and dialogue should be prioritised by the PN. 

“One cannot accept that a small group of people take the decision in their hands, the PN is the member’s and all the Nationalists’,” Grech said.

He also insisted that Adrian Delia is capable of contesting and winning elections. 

Speaking on the national broadcaster on Monday, Delia said he would be changing the portfolios shadowed by the MPs who moved a vote of no-confidence against him.

He also said he lost trust in those people who have repudiated him “once, twice, three times.”

“When someone’s actions evidently try to weaken your party leader, your party... At a time when I am fighting on the Vitals concession, they should have been my side,” he said.

Former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi is also in attendance to tonight’s meeting.

Earlier today, he told the media that he would support any constructive proposal to resolve the crisis within the PN.

Adrian Delia promises demotions for rebel MPs in Partit Nazzjonalista who led no-confidence vote and attempted to depose him

Posted by MaltaToday on Tuesday, 14 July 2020

He said he would, however, oppose any proposal aimed at punishing MPs who had exercised their democratic right to oppose Delia.

Asked whether he would be calling for a leadership race, Gonzi said that he would not be commenting further. 

Gonzi is entitled to participate in today’s meeting because, as a former leader of the party, he is a permanent member of its executive committee.

Former PM Lawrence Gonzi
Former PM Lawrence Gonzi

More in National