[WATCH] Adrian Delia to face confidence vote in General Council

Adrian Delia calls General Council which will see his leadership put to the test • Carm Mifsud Bonnici elected president of administrative council

The PN's executive committee has elected Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici as president of the party's administrative council
The PN's executive committee has elected Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici as president of the party's administrative council
Adrian Delia says he called General Council in best interest of the party

Adrian Delia has called a General Council, to be held on 27 July, which will be subjecting the Nationalist Party leader to a confidence vote.

Delia made the call on Thursday night during an executive committee meeting.

In June PN councillors raised 150 signatures to demand a secret ballot during an extraordinary General Council that will ask whether Delia should resign.

Subsequently, former PN election candidate Ivan Bartolo, ex-executive president Mark Anthony Sammut, MZPN secretary general Emma Portelli Bonnici, vice-president of the party's professionals' forum Martin Musumeci, and councillor Emvin Bartolo presented the Nationalist leadership with a petition calling for the council to discuss and vote whether members believe that, following the local and MEP elections results, Delia shoulder responsibility and resign.

In comments to the press as he emerged from the Dar Centrali when the executive committee meeting concluded, Delia said he had called the General Council because this was in the best interest of the party and its future.

He went on to hint that, should he lose the confidence vote, the next step would be to ask the PN's card-holding members (tesserati) whether they still supported him as leader. This appears to imply that he would not immediately step down were he to not receive the General Council members' backing.

Earlier

Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici has been elected president of the Nationalist Party's administrative council.

The MP and former justice minister received the backing of 46 members of the party's executive committee, while the only other contender for the post, Graham Bencini, got 31 vote, unofficial results indicate.

Mifsud Bonnici is widely seen as a supporter of party leader Adrian Delia.

Graziella Attard Previ withdrew from the race for executive president earlier on Thursday
Graziella Attard Previ withdrew from the race for executive president earlier on Thursday

Alex Perici Calascione has been elected president of the executive committee. He ran uncontested, with 53 voting in favour of his election, and 24 against.

In total, 78 members of the executive committee voted, with one vote being invalid.

The executive committee will also be deciding on the date for the PN's general council as well as on its agenda.

Addressing the executive committee, Graziella Attard Previ -  who earlier today withdrew her candidature for executive president - said she had decided to back down "in the spirit of unity" and so that the PN "can concentrate on its mission without delay."

In a statement, the PN said Attard Previ's declaration was met with acclamation by the committee's members.

Charles Selvaggi, who was the only candidate for party treasurer but also withdrew candidature, told the committee that he had decided to do so due to professional commitments which he would be entering into.

Selvaggi insisted that his withdrawal had nothing to do with his role and work within the PN, and said he was loyal to Delia and to the party.

After his election, Perici Calascione and Mifsud Bonnici thanked Delia and the executive committee members for having faith in them.

In turn, Delia, thanking Bencini and Selvaggi, said that there was "strength in unity".

"...Today the executive committee paid testament to this. The values of unity and diversity should work within the Nationalist Party for the national interest," Delia said.

Nominations for the role of treasurer will be re-opened, the PN said.

MaltaToday asked committee members what they were expecting from the meeting, however most of them chose not to comment.

Pierre Portelli - who sits on the committee and who recently resigned from his post as head of the party media - however told members of the press gathered outside the Dar Centrali that those within the PN who opposed Delia should have to face consequences.

The executive committee meeting is expected to last late into the night, however the voting for the two president positions might be concluded earlier.

Sliema local councilor and the president of the Nationalist Party’s equal opportunities forum Graziella Attard Previ withdrew from the race to be the next president of the party’s executive committee earlier today, leaving former party leadership contender Alex Perici Calascione to run uncontested.

Charles Selvaggi, the only candidate seeking the post of PN treasurer has also withdrawn from the race.

Richard Muscat, the head of the party’s electoral commission confirmed with MaltaToday that both Attard Previ and Selvaggi had withdrawn their nomination.

The race for administrative president pits PN MP and former minister Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici against the president of the PN’s forum for professionals Graham Bencini. This is a clear race between pro and anti-Adrian Delia camps.

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

Mifsud Bonnici has backed Delia since the start, while Bencini has backed a petition calling for Delia to resign in wake of the party’s dismal showing in last May’s elections.

Perici Calascione had contested the PN leadership in the summer of 2017 and was widely viewed as Simon Busuttil’s candidate in the race.

Tonight’s meeting will also be discussing a petition submitted by 200 councilors calling for an extraordinary general council to be held in which councilors will be asked whether they believe Delia should step down.

A further two petitions in support of Delia were presented on Wednesday. 

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

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