Adrian Delia gives PN grandee Louis Galea carte blanche to propose reform

PN looks to its past to find a solution for its current problems

Louis Galea's last official posting was at the European Court of Auditors where he served until 2016
Louis Galea's last official posting was at the European Court of Auditors where he served until 2016

Nationalist Party grandee Louis Galea was given carte blanche by Adrian Delia to attend all internal meetings after he was tasked with reforming the party.

Galea, 71, a former minister and more recently a member of the European Court of Auditors, was proposed by the PN leader as he tries to assuage MPs who want him out.

A key player in the transformation of the PN when Eddie Fenech Adami became leader in 1977, Galea has been tasked with leading a political reform process.

The PN executive welcomed Delia’s proposal and accepted Galea’s appointment unanimously.

Galea has been given wide-ranging powers to attend any internal meeting as an observer, meet anyone from the party on his own initiative or if requested, and consult with people and groups outside the PN’s structures.

Galea’s task will be to listen and draw up a political reform to make the PN relevant to contemporary Maltese society and propose relevant changes.

He will be reporting directly to Delia and is expected to present a final report in 12 months’ time.

The move to rope in Galea is an attempt by Delia to reach out to the faction in the party that wants him out while trying to craft a vision ahead of the next general election in 2022.

Galea commands respect among the party rank and file and can connect with veteran Nationalists still enamoured with the PN’s glory days in the 1980s and 1990s.

A vigil for Daphne Caruana Galizia organised by Occupy Justice: Louis Galea has been given carte blanche to meet organisations outside the PN
A vigil for Daphne Caruana Galizia organised by Occupy Justice: Louis Galea has been given carte blanche to meet organisations outside the PN

However, it remains to be seen whether Galea can bridge the divide with PN supporters who militate in groups like Occupy Justice and Repubblika that have been scathing in their criticism of Delia.

By playing the Galea card, Delia has harked back to the past to try and find a solution for the present. In many respects, Galea’s choice is an attempt to assuage the party’s grassroots, including MPs opposed to Delia's leadership.

However, it could also be an attempt to isolate MPs such as Jason Azzopardi, Karol Aquilina, Simon Busuttil and Beppe Fenech Adami, who are opposed to Delia, if they refuse to cooperate.

Galea’s nomination to this role came at the same time that Delia decided to call a meeting of the general council in which he will put his leadership to the test.

The leader already faced a petition by 200 councillors calling for an extraordinary general council in which Delia’s future would be at stake. But during yesterday’s executive meeting, Delia said he will be using his prerogative according to the statute to call a general council for the end of July.

It remains to be seen what will happen with a second petition signed by more than 400 councillors calling for disciplinary action to be taken against those MPs who do not toe the party line.

The PN’s executive yesterday elected Alex Perici Calascione as its president and Carm Mifsud Bonnici as the president of the administrative council.

Mifsud Bonnici’s victory over Graham Bencini was a significant victory for Delia. Bencini was one the party officials who supported the petition asking Delia to resign. 

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