Stop playing games and come forward: Clyde Puli’s challenge to PN’s rebels

Embattled PN leader Adrian Delia continues to resist calls for his resignation amid a mutiny within the party

PN Secretary General Clyde Puli has challenged Delia's opponents to speak out and stop playing games
PN Secretary General Clyde Puli has challenged Delia's opponents to speak out and stop playing games

Updated at 7.15pm with David Stellini clarification

Nationalist Party secretary-general Clyde Puli has challenged PN MPs and officials who are against party leader Adrian Delia to stop playing games and come forward with a challenge.

“If someone does not want him, then they have every right to push forward a motion of no confidence, but don’t play games,” Puli told the Malta Independent.

Puli said that while everyone speaks of MPs who want to remove Delia, none of them have openly said so. “I think it is doing them a disservice. So do we have MPs without a backbone? We have good courageous MPs. If they were truly to do it, they would come out.”

Puli said that if the allegations made against Delia turn out to be true, he would be the first to say he should step down from parry leader.

Puli’s comments come in the wake of attempts by party officials for him to resign, as polls show the PN leader – who was democratically elected by party members – is failing to make inroads. Adding to his problems are allegations of domestic violence made by Delia’s estranged spouse in a court document she filed to prevent her husband from seeing their five children over the Christmas holidays.

READ ALSO: Adrian Delia says no PN MP has told him to his face that he must go

Declaration of no confidence  

The latest call for Delia to resign was reportedly spearheaded by administrative council president David Stellini and executive council president Mark Anthony Sammut, both of whom are believed to be lobbying MPs to sign a declaration stating that Delia could no longer count on their support.

However, Stellini contacted MaltaToday denying that he was collecting signatures or lobbying MPs to force Delia to resign. "I categorically deny this. Mark Anthony and I did meet Adrian Delia but the discussion was to chart a way forward in the face of all that is happening," Stellini said.

Sister newspaper Illum has reported that Beppe Fenech Adami and Jason Azzopardi have met with some MPs to try and convince them that Delia's position is untenable.

While the jury is still out on whether Delia has lost the support of a majority of MPs, PN insiders told MaltaToday the party leader continues to enjoy considerable support among the PN’s grassroots, making any move to force him out risky. “In addition to there being no real succession plan, there is also an overriding fear that forcing him out will cause a number of supporters to turn against the party,” one source told MaltaToday.

The sources said that the party would be holding and a rally for party activists on Thursday evening, as a show of force by those close to the leader.

READ MORE: Five reasons why Adrian Delia has declared ‘war on traitors’