[WATCH] Delia insists PN has to choose between progress or remaining stuck with ideas of party of know-it-alls

Adrian Delia tells those who instigated internal opposition since he became leader that he will be moving forward with changing the party

PN leader Adrian Delia gave an interview on Net FM on Sunday
PN leader Adrian Delia gave an interview on Net FM on Sunday

Adrian Delia has insisted that he will be moving forward with changing the PN, and said that those within the party who had been opposing this had to now take stock of their position.

Delia said that since taking the helm of the Nationalist Party one and a half years ago, he had been joined by people who truly wanted to change the party and render it electable again, but that there had been others who had worked for the opposite of that.

Now, however, the party had a clear decision to make on whether it wanted to remain stuck in the past or wanted to really change and send a message that it was prepared to accept all those who wanted to help, he said.

Delia's frank comments came during an interview on Net FM on Sunday, where he insisted that the party could never move forward, in the face of a series of humbling electoral losses, if those within it attacked each other “in the newspapers and social media”.

Read also:

Unchallenged by MPs, Adrian Delia lives to fight another day

“I am not afraid of scrutiny and honest criticism, but I am committed towards doing what I have to do. And those who don’t want this have to make their own decisions now,” he said.

People feel PN can't yet govern Malta

Delia said that he had joined the PN with the intention of changing it radically, but was met by an establishment, which still survives, which was in control of the party.

“When I joined the PN, I was one of those who felt that the party had to change radically, and that there was an establishment in the party - which remains there to this day - which was in control. This emerged clearly from past reports on electoral losses.”

The results of the European and local council elections were clear, he said, and the people had strongly said that they didn’t feel the PN was yet able to govern the country.

“The result is clear. The people sent a strong message to the PN that its place is still in the Opposition, and that it hadn’t yet changed to sufficient a degree that it can present itself as an alternative to the government,” Delia said.

“I want to do my part to make this change, which is why I gave myself to this role. There is still a lot of work to do, and the electoral result is testament to this,” he emphasised.

“We now face a challenge. There are those who want to undertake this change, and who have worked in the past months to move forward - in fact, we had started to make some progress, albeit small - and there are then those who remained in the sidelines, waiting to see what will happen. But there are also those who worked for the opposite,” he said.

He went on to invite anyone who genuinely wanted the best for the PN, and who had ideas, to come forward.

“People now need to choose. Do we want to stay as we were, do we want to go back to the past, do we want to remain stuck with the ideas of those who thought they knew everything? Or do we really want to change and deliver the message that we are prepared to accept everyone?” he asked

‘I extended a hand of friendship time and time again’

On several occasions since becoming leader, Delia said he had tried to reach out repeatedly to those within the PN who did not support him. He said he would continue to do so, but reiterated it was now time for the party to move forward.

“During the last year and a half I’ve tried to instil change. I’ve tried to extend a hand of friendship to those who didn’t want to support me, and I tried time after time, and will keep trying. But we can’t keep on going like this, we have to move forward. We are open to those who want to help, but we have no time to waste for those who want to work against us, we can’t tolerate this,” he highlighted.

“The party wants to move forward, both with the help of those who are already there, and of those who want to come to us but think our doors are still closed by the few who don’t want them to join the party. I am being very clear - the changes we have done were good, but it wasn’t enough, and there were those who wanted to disrupt it,” he stressed. 

In his closing arguments, Delia said that, despite Labour’s big win in last week’s elections, the PN would continue to do its duty of pointing out where it felt the government was acting wrongly.

He also announced that he had chosen Roberta Metsola to lead the two-strong PN team in the European Parliament.

“Metsola obtained a large number of votes, and I want to see that in the coming months we’ll give a clear direction for the PN in the European Parliament,” he added.