[WATCH] Adrian Delia ready to run for leadership if General Council calls for race

PN General Council will choose: either ask members to vote on a confidence vote, or open leadership race • Delia says he will contest a leadership race if councillors ask members to vote in new leadership election

Former MP Michael Asciak holds up the compromise motion agreed to by Adrian Delia
Former MP Michael Asciak holds up the compromise motion agreed to by Adrian Delia

A compromise motion has been approved by the PN executive to convene a General Council that will choose between holding a convention for party members to hold a confidence vote on embattled leader Adrian Delia, or opening a leadership race in which members will vote.

Delia has said that he will be contesting a leadership race amongst the tesserati, should the Council decide to vote for that.

The PN leader, speaking to the press after a six-hour long meeting, said he was happy that the executive had unanimously approved the compromise motion.

Originally, Delia had called for a General Council that would vote on a motion to ask party members only to determine whether he should continue as leader.

Delia's opponents, who successfully led two motions of no-confidence against him, wanted the General Council itself to vote on a new confidence vote, that woud lead to a new leadership race should Delia lose.

The two motions were debated in the executive committee since the meeting started at 7pm. It was expected that, should an agreement not be found, General Council president Censu Galea would have had to rule on the way forward.

However, a compromise was reached on a motion where General Council members will vote on whether the paid-up members should be asked to either elect a new PN leader, or else confirm Adrian Delia as leader.


In a Facebook post, a number of MPs who oppose Delia, including Jason Azzopardi, David Thake and Karol Aquilina, denied that they wanted to stop the members from having their say, but they sought a leadership race in which there could be more than one candidate.

Converesly, Delia wanted to be subjected to a confidence vote among members, rather than a race.

Delia's decision to take the question of his leadership to the members came as a Nationalist Party executive committee meeting was underway on Thursday night. Insiders said Delia’s request was opposed by dissenters, including MPs Karol Aquilina, Chris Said and even former ally Hermann Schiavone, who argued that members can only vote to elect a new leader, and not express a vote of confidence in the incumbent.

Former MP Michael Asciak moved a motion that called for a General Council to ask councillors if they wanted to remove Delia and call a leadership election. Delia opposed the motion, insisting that he wanted to call the General Council himself, and only ask it to call a vote of confidence in him by party members in a national convention.

In a recorded video on Facebook, the PN leader said he had written to the General Council president, asking for a meeting to be held on 31 July 2020, to vote on whether a national convention should be held within three weeks for members to vote on whether they had confidence in Delia.

The executive committee meeting was requested by Delia after he lost two votes of confidence in the parliamentary group and executive over the past weeks. Members on their way in refrained from commenting, while MP Karol Aquilina urged journalists to ask the leader, when asked what concrete decision will be taken. The move is part of a wider plan to install Therese Comodini Cachia as interim Opposition leader and kick-start a leadership race.

READ ALSO: PN insurgency seeks General Council showdown to force Adrian Delia out

Delia has refused to step down from leader, insisting that the vote of party members who elected him leader must be respected. Efforts were underway over the past few days by either faction to sway members of the executive their way.

Delia was humiliated by a majority of his own MPs, who walked out of a hastily called parliamentary group meeting that had to discuss developments linked to the Melvin Theuma attempted suicide.

MPs led by Comodini Cachia said they were only interested in discussing Delia’s unwillingness to respect the no confidence votes he lost.