Open rebellion inside Nationalist Party as MPs tell Adrian Delia to go

INSIDE THE PARLIAMENTARY GROUP • MPs have given leader Adrian Delia two days to consider their harshest request so far: Assume political responsibility for election drubbing

In their first meeting of the parliamentary group on Tuesday evening, party sources told MaltaToday that a large group of MPs had insisted that Delia should resign
In their first meeting of the parliamentary group on Tuesday evening, party sources told MaltaToday that a large group of MPs had insisted that Delia should resign

A significant group of Nationalist MPs have told Opposition leader Adrian Delia they want the PN leadership to assume responsibility for the party’s drubbing at the European and local elections.

In a meeting of the parliamentary group on Tuesday evening, party sources told MaltaToday that a large group of MPs had insisted that Delia should resign. This was the second consecutive meeting of the parliamentary group.

“We put the ball in their court and decided to give the leadership some days for them to find the best way to resign – not if,” a source privy to the meeting, said.

“Only three MPs spoke in his favour,” the source said.

MaltaToday is informed, from another source, that the rest of the parliamentary group was near unanimous in its call to Delia and the administration to assume responsibility, giving him two days to consider their request.

The most direct critics were said to be Karl Gouder, Ryan Callus, former deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami, Jason Azzopardi, Therese Comodini Cachia, Chris Said, Marthese Portelli and Claudette Buttigieg.

Simon Busutti was said to have told Delia: “Do the honourable thing just as I did.” The former leader had left after the 2017 election and launched the popular election that allowed Delia to be voted in by paid-up members.

Former ministers Carm Mifsud Bonnici and Edwin Vassallo reportedly intervened to calm down the situation, saying Delia’s departure would alienate a significant chunk of the party support.

Delia ally Kristy Debono was said to have not stated anything, while party whip Robert Cutajar said the entire group should assume responsibility.

Yesterday’s meeting also discussed allegations that the PN had attempted to derail the re-election of the incumbent MEP David Casa, the use of face Facebook accounts by PN trolls, and the current Bill for the creation of a State prosecutor.

Adrian Delia has already declared he will not resign and that he will take the PN to the next general election.

His executive committee was recently hit by the resignation of president Mark Anthony Sammut, who said he was assuming responsibility for the party’s defeat at the last elections. “Mark Anthony Sammut felt that responsibility needs to taken by resigning. It appears to me that my political responsibility is to do all I can, to restructure the party for the next general election, as the PN’s members trusted me to do,” Delia said.

Delia was further hit by controversy when his chief political coordinator Jean Pierre Debono was forced to withdraw his co-option bid to the House, after winning a controversial vote against Gozo local councillor Kevin Cutajar. Cutajar has since been voted to the House by acclamation.

 

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