Delia confirms seeking to sanction Busuttil following call to reconsider candidacy

PN leadership contender Adrian Delia says that he had complained against leader Simon Busuttil and other officials and insists that the personal attacks against him were proof that some within the party were not ready to change

Adrian Delia addresses a press conference on Sunday morning
Adrian Delia addresses a press conference on Sunday morning

Nationalist Party leadership contender Adrian Delia confirmed this morning that he had asked the party's electoral commission to sanction leader Simon Busuttil for saying - two days before the first round of voting last week - that if he were Delia, he would reconsider his candidacy, in the wake of allegations raised against him.

Delia, who was addressing a press conference at the PN club in Swieqi, said that he had also sought disciplinary action against deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami and other officials.

"I also complained that the Administrative COuncil had taken it upon itself to recommend that I reconsider my candidacy, even if the Ethics Committee report suggested nothing of the kind," he said. "But the electoral commission replied that such decision were not within its remit or responsibilities."

The committee had met to consider claims that Delia had opened a client bank account in his own name at Barclays Bank in Jersey and that the account had been used by the client to launder money derived from proceeds from prostitution in Soho, London.

Delia, who is contesting the leadership election with Chris Said, having already eliminated two other candidates in the first round, said that it was obvious there were some people within the party who were happy with the current status quo and did not wish to see things change, even if for the better.

"There are indeed some within the PN who are resisting the different and new way of doing politics that I am proposing, and are resorting to personal attacks against me because they cannot attack my message and my candidature," he said, adding he could not fathom the reason for their hostility in his regards.

He also confirmed that he had been informed of rumours that the party was calling members and encouraging them to vote for Said, but said he had no first-hand confirmation of this. 

Delia said that the paid-up members of the Nationalist Party - like the councillors before them - were embracing the new way of doing politics he was proposing and would vote accordingly in final and decisive round of voting.

He said the councillors had already shown they were not idiots and could reach their own conclusions after choosing to ignore the 'uncalled for' comments by Busuttil.

Turning to security in towns and villages around Malta, Delia said that Swieqi and surrounding localities were slowly changing from quiet villages to centres that were being held hostage by Maltese and foreign criminals and organised gangs. 

"We have seen this same phenomenon in other areas, like St Paul's Bay, Marsa and Birzebbugia," he said. "And yet the government still does nothing to tackle this issue."

Delia lamented the lack of police officers on the beat, as happens abroad, and said that the Maltese had become accustomed to seeing the police only after something happens. 

"This issue goes beyond party lines as the citizens have a right to know they are safe," he said. "Long gone are the days when people used to leave the keys in their door… instead we now have elderly people who are afraid to step outside their homes."