PN’s youth organ takes Adrian Delia to task over factionalism and disastrous election result

10 main takeaways from the MZPN’s bludgeoning of PN leader Adrian Delia and his entourage in their report to the party leadership

The MZPN report paints a grim picture of the PN under Adrian Delia's leadership
The MZPN report paints a grim picture of the PN under Adrian Delia's leadership

1. Factionalism: nothing new, but serious divisions in place

The MZPN says factionalism inside the party is not new but division was fomented since the start of the leadership campaign “during which a number of social media groups, chats and other means were set up to attack and harass individuals into submission or silence.”

“To this day people are being marginalised or attacked simply for refusing to fall in line. This is unacceptable and has managed to turn not only the people against the current leadership, but the traditional and non-traditional party voters against each other.”

2. The youth organ says it has been discredited by the leadership

The current leadership has failed to take into consideration any ideas contrary to the ones it clings to, and any criticism is repelled with internal or even very public attacks. “Most recently, persons close to the current PN leadership publicly chose to attack MZPN by seeking to discredit it on news websites with leaked and wildly inaccurate stories.This is not only unimaginable in a serious organisation but it is unacceptable across the board, whatever the scenario and whatever the circumstances.”

3. Under Delia, a divide-and-rule strategy has been employed

“It is no closely kept secret that the 'us vs. them' concept was employed from day one… People were specifically tasked to ensure that power remains in the hands of those closest to the current leadership, by all means necessary. We are aware of manoeuvres employed over the past 20 month or so, of which some have manifested themselves in public. Individuals, some of whom are very well known for the tactics they employed and others who prefer to remain behind the scenes, have been tasked to ensure that the division caused by their work results in a false sense of power being installed within the corridors or the second and third floors of the party headquarters.”

4. Busuttil suspension was a disaster

Adrian Delia wanted Simon Busuttil out after the Egrant magisterial inquiry findings were published but had to retract after internal opposition
Adrian Delia wanted Simon Busuttil out after the Egrant magisterial inquiry findings were published but had to retract after internal opposition

On the dismissal, and subsequent partial reversal, of former party leader Simon Busuttil’s suspension, “who to the best of our knowledge remains suspended from the parliamentary group to this day, whether by oversight or by intent” was handled "disastrously".

5. Party inimical to the ‘Daphne crowd’ that never welcomed Delia as leader

“The very basic idea that the party needed to welcome these people and build bridges with them was completely dismissed, and ultimately this led to fractures that the party must work incredibly hard to mend.”

6. Media chief Pierre Portelli under fire

The MZPN takes to task media chief Pierre Portelli, saying previous mistakes were made in the handling of TV programmes being awarded to and aired on Net Television as well as programmes scheduled on Net FM. “Unforgivable mistakes were made in strategic attacks made on the news station and newspapers of the party; mistakes which made even the most ardent Nationalists question the logic behind them.”

It also lists the Times of Malta, The Malta Independent and The Shift News as newspapers ostensibly friendly to the PN, but which were attacked by the PN leadership – including civil society group Occupy Justice (a group inimical to Adrian Delia). “If we cannot get the media we are ultimately solely in charge of right, then there is little prospect of getting much done in a proper and just manner.”

7. European electoral defeat disaster

On counting day, the now independent MP (and Delia ally) Hermann Schiavone “set the tone when he demoralised every single individual” in the counting hall by announcing a catastrophic defeat on Facebook at 7am on Sunday 26 May 2019. “Once the preliminary result came out, still projected at a +50,000 vote difference between PN and PL, leadership commented in the most atrocious manner by, collectively and individually stating that only ‘fine tuning’ is required to bring the party up to standard, by stating that ‘it could have been worse’, by declaring that ‘it is only half-time’ in an electoral sense and finally, by saying that the party was defeated so heavily not because it is lacklustre, but because PL is a more formidable force.”

8. The PN’s secretariat has been ‘locked away’ with fingerprint access

MZPN has accused Clyde Puli and Jean Pierre Debono of locking themselves up in rooms with finger print access, contrary to Delia's promise to have open doors
MZPN has accused Clyde Puli and Jean Pierre Debono of locking themselves up in rooms with finger print access, contrary to Delia's promise to have open doors

The MZPN says the party has been “fortuitous over the years to have brilliant minds around” and within the leadership which help form a kaleidoscope of ideas and ways forward.

“Instead of taking advantage of this and the outstretched hands of so many individuals offering to help, a siege mentality set in which was brought about by an unprecedented level of distrust, and perfectly exemplified when remarkably, a gypsum wall was set up on the second floor to close off the office of the secretary general and the office of the political coordinator from the rest of the floor, with finger print access to ensure a very explicit and vivid concept of ‘no-entry’.The current leadership promised open doors, and instead erected new ones.

9. The PN has yet to say what it stands for

“This is the very basis of what is to happen next if we are to return the party to the people, as the name itself states clearly.”

10. The leadership must shoulder political responsibility

The MZPN says those “who have failed” must take responsibility, and the party must “identify key people who unite and inspire people, not shackle it to the ground.”

“The party needs to re-establish its credibility. This is one of the, if not the most, crucial points in order to progress. Without credibility, the party stands for nothing and represents no-one. The good that the party currently holds must be protected and promoted, whilst the items and individuals holding it back must be replaced with others that ensure that the electorate takes us seriously. A serious Opposition that will bring people back to its fore, place them at the front, and lead with them.”

READ ALSO: Joe Saliba comes bearing the grim news: ‘We won’t win in 2022’

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