PN members collect signatures to stop confidence vote, blame ‘pseudo-NGOs’ for election loss

Counter-action to PN councillors’ demand for a confidence vote on Adrian Delia, says General Council cannot depose leadership

Adrian Delia: paid-up members want to show full trust in PN leader
Adrian Delia: paid-up members want to show full trust in PN leader

Paid-up members of the Nationalist Party are collecting signatures asking the PN’s president of the General Council to bring MPs in line and to express full confidence in leader Adrian Delia.

The letter to Kristy Debono comes in the wake of a petition by 150 councillors of the PN’s General Council, requesting a secret ballot on whether Delia should stand down in the wake of disastrous European and local election results.

The members will ask Debono to deny the request for an extraordinary General Council for the confidence vote, saying it is only the General Convention that can elect the party leadership.

The members also deflect responsibility for the election drubbing from Delia to a collective burden: “there is no doubt that a divided party cannot win an election. It is no secret that since taking his oath, Delia was prevented from working serenely by those who have done all they can to stop him being leader. The less than ethical behaviour of certain MPs and officials has not helped the situation.”

The members’ letter also attacks “pseudo-bloggers and pseudo-NGOs” – ostensibly a reference to the Nationalist-leaning Repubblika NGO and spokesperson Manuel Delia – as “a main factor” in the election drubbing.

“The same people who were the reason for the 2013 election loss and which the paid-up members refuted in 2017 are the hidden hand behind this political manoeuvring. They who the pulled the strings then, are still at it today and want to take control of the party. We cannot keep protecting the status quo.”

The members, who express their full trust in Adrian Delia, also call on Debono to kick-start the process for the necessary changes can make the PN a “winning party”, welcome back former members alienated from the party, as well as  to steps to “prevent MPs and officials clearly showing they will not work collectively, from damaging the party; and that the process starts to bring back those who were alienated from the party by the actions and attitude of those who want to retain control of the party.”

MaltaToday understands that the letter is being distributed all over the island in a bid to shore up support for Adrian Delia, and states that the party leader cannot be ‘deposed’ by a vote in the General Council.

While Debono has said she has not yet officially received the petition calling for the secret vote to take place in a General Council, the same organ is statutorily unable to determine issues of the PN’s leadership.

The letter claims that although the General Council is the PN’s highest decision-making organ, it is the General Convention that elects the party leadership.

Adrian Delia was elected by the majority of the PN’s paid-up members, in the first election of its type, that was created by predecessor Simon Busuttil.

In 2012, prime minister Lawrence Gonzi put his leadership to a vote inside the General Council in a bid to ascertain his leadership in the wake of a rebellion by MP Franco Debono.

More in National