Majority of PN MPs snub meeting on rule of law House debate

After having repeatedly criticised the government for not suspending scheduled parliamentary proceedings to discuss the rule of law in Malta following Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, most PN MPs fail to turn up for a meeting to discuss strategy ahead of Monday’s debate

Only 13 PN MPs attended a Friday meeting of the parliamentary group to prepare for Monday's House debate on the rule of law in Malta
Only 13 PN MPs attended a Friday meeting of the parliamentary group to prepare for Monday's House debate on the rule of law in Malta

The growing dissent within the Nationalist Party’s parliamentary group towards party leader Adrian Delia became more evident on Friday as only a mere handful of MPs turned up for a meeting scheduled to discuss how to address a parliamentary debate on the rule of law in Malta, scheduled for Monday.

Delia last week frequently criticised the government for not suspending normal parliamentary proceedings – currently debating ministerial allotments in the 2018 budget – to discuss the state of the rule of law in Malta in the aftermath of the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was killed in a car bomb on Monday 16 October.

In a surprise move on Friday, the government representative on the House Business Committee said that the government would be presenting a motion so that parliament would debate the matter throughout the day on Monday.

Opposition whip David Agius said the PN parliamentary group would discuss the motion at meeting to be held in the evening.

But MaltaToday is informed that only 13 MPs – out of 28 – attended the meeting at the PN headquarters in Pieta’, with notable absentees including Beppe Fenech Adami, Claudio Grech and Marthese Portelli.

Three of the four MPs contesting the upcoming deputy leadership election – Edwin Vassallo, Robert Arrigo and Toni Bezzina – also did not attend.

Delia has denied there is a rift within the parliamentary group, although souces have confirmed some MPs are considering asking foir a vote of confidence in the leader within the group. If the rebel MPs manage to secure the backing of at least 15 of the 28 MPs, Delia could end up losing his position as leader of the opposition, while remaining party leader.

But in doorstep comments on his way in to Friday’s meeting, Delia told MaltaToday there was no need for the parliamentary group to call for a vote of confidence because there was no sign of a lack of confidence in him within the group.

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