PN supporters present petition with almost 5,000 signatures in support of Adrian Delia

The petition calls on the party’s general council to take action against those who continue to refuse to work for the good of the party

Adrian Delia
Adrian Delia

A group of Nationalist Party members on Wednesday presented the party’s general council president Kristy Debono with two petitions in support of embattled leader Adrian Delia.

Rabat councillor Karl Muscat said that 4,333 signatures had been collected from the party’s paid-up members, with a further 530 general council members signing an identical petition.

The petition calls on the general council to “start a process of change for the PN to become a winning party once again”. It also calls on the party to open its doors to all those who have the interest of the party at heart and for all those who wish to contribute to the party to be able to do so.

The petition is also calling on the council to request that all party members and officials work together towards the same goal and for “all the necessary steps to be taken with regard to those MPs or officials who continue to refuse to work collectively with the leader and the party’s administration, for them to stop doing harm to the party”.

Finally, the council is being called upon to start a process through which supporters who were set aside by those determined to keep control of the party can be brought back into the fold.

Asked what type of action the petition was calling on the council to take regarding rebel MPs who are opposed to Delia’s leadership, Muscat said said that no specific action was being requested.

The signatures were presented to the party just one day before its executive meets to discuss holding an extraordinary general council on the basis of a motion asking Adrian Delia to resign.

READ MORE: Ivan Bartolo does not rule out future PN leadership bid

The media was informed at 6.30pm through email that a group of supporters and councillors will be presenting a petition at PN HQ at 7pm. The email was unsigned.

Delia supporters have been collecting signatures for a petition rebutting the assertions of a first petition spearheaded by former PN candidate Ivan Bartolo and former executive president Mark Anthony Sammut.

The latest petition, presented by those loyal to Delia, stresses that the leader was elected democratically and that the party’s statute clearly states that it is only the party’s General Convention can elect a leader, who must be confirmed by the same convention within three months of the start of a new legislature.

“In view of the statute, we are asking for any request that could have been made, asking for a vote of confidence in the party leader by councillors of the same party, to be refused,” the petition reads.

It calls for collective responsibility to be shouldered for the election defeats.

“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 petition is also critical of “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 people who were responsible for the PN 2013 election defeat, the signatories claim, and “who were set aside by the party’s members in 2017”, were behind these manoeuvres to undermine the party and its leader simply because he was not their preferred option.

READ MORE: Nationalist Party to convene general council despite ‘invalid’ signatures