Delia wants face-to-face debates with Grech as PN election organ considers discarding the option

Following reports that the Nationalist Party’s electoral commission is toying with the idea of not having face-to-face debates between the two leadership candidates, Adrian Delia says it will be a mistake if the party stifled democracy in this way

PN leader Adrian Delia is being challenged for the leadership post by relative newcomer Bernard Grech
PN leader Adrian Delia is being challenged for the leadership post by relative newcomer Bernard Grech

Adrian Delia believes it will be a mistake for the Nationalist Party to discard face-to-face debates between the leadership candidates when the race formally kicks off.

In a Facebook post, the PN leader warned on Sunday that when the party had discarded dialogue in the past it started to distance itself from the people.

Delia’s post came as the Times of Malta on Sunday reported that the PN electoral commission was toying with the idea of doing away with face-to-face debates between the incumbent and rival contender Bernard Grech.

Id-djalogu dejjem kien il-pedament tal-Partit Nazzjonalista. 🇲🇹 Meta d-djalogu ġie skartat Il-Partit Nazzjonalista beda...

Posted by Adrian Delia on Sunday, 30 August 2020

The news portal reported that the commission wanted to avoid what were described as “certain mistakes” done in the 2017 leadership race that sowed further division.

In 2017, rival candidates were allowed to debate each other on the party media, while answering questions from a panel of journalists from different media houses.

“We have to lead by example… I expect that when the leadership election kicks off officially, there will be dialogues and debates between the candidates. In this way, members will be fully aware of the decision they are going to take,” Delia said.

He insisted it would be a mistake if “inside its own home”, the PN “stifles” democracy.

“Mature debates are good not bad,” he added.

The race has not formally started since both candidates are currently being subjected to a due diligence exercise.

Delia and Grech have so far been instructed to turn down invitations from the media for face-to-face debates. They have appeared in back-to-back individual interviews with the latest being an appearance on the online version of Xarabank last Friday.

READ ALSO: Main takeaways from the Grech and Delia debate on Xarabank