Francis Zammit Dimech says he did not decide on validity of petition seeking Delia's ousting

Tuesday evening's PN executive committee will debate whether the no confidence motion put forward by 150 councillors that aims to see PN leader Adrian Delia out is valid or not

PN leader Adrian Delia
PN leader Adrian Delia

Francis Zammit Dimech did not decide on the validity of the petition proposing a motion of no confidence in Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia, insisting that decision was something the party executive would take.

The former PN MEP told MaltaToday that he was wrongly interpreted by other media houses when they reported him having ruled that a petition by 150 councillors was invalid.

Zammit Dimech heads the PN's electoral commission that will oversee the voting process in the general council to be held on 27 July.

“We will not speak for others and cannot comment on other members’ sensibilities but the Electoral Commission said no such thing. Only the executive committee can decide whether the petition is invalid,” Zammit Dimech told MaltaToday on Tuesday morning.

Zammit Dimech added that he was beset by a number of callers who attacked him for saying something he never said.

The PN executive is meeting on Tuesday evening to discuss the petitioners' motion.

The petition filed a few weeks ago was signed by 150 councillors and was said to have been deemed null and void by Zammit Dimech who denied the charge.

Meanwhile, petitioners who submitted a motion of no confidence in Nationalist Party Leader Adrian Delia believe that their motion cannot be blocked and should still force Delia to a confidence vote at a General Council meeting on 27 July.

Former PN executive committee president Mark Anthony Sammut said Tuesday evening's committee will meet to discuss the petition.

"We first heard of the petition's invalidity on Monday evening. This is why we're meeting today, because in our opinion it should not be deemed invalid. Nobody can stop a motion with at least 150 signatories," Sammut told MaltaToday.

The petition was signed by 150 councillors, some of which were deemed invalid signatories. However, in a counter move, the pro-Delia camp managed to secure 530 signatures from councillors and more than 4,000 signatures from party members.

The whole process was, however, anticipated by Delia, who at the last meeting of the executive used the powers granted to him by the party statute to call an extraorindary meeting of the general council. The meeting on 27 July is thus being held on the PN leader's initiative, which has also conditioned the wording of the motion that will be put to councillors.

The move has miffed petitioners opposed to Delia, who feel their initiative has been sabotaged.

"You can't stop a petition. If the opposing camp want, it can submit its own motion. After Delia gave the impression that he would heed the petition and call a vote of confidence on 27 July, the Commission returned with a motion that consisted in different wording," Sammut said.

Sammut was referring to the comments Delia gave at the end of the last executive meeting when he gave the impression that the general council motion would reflect the wording proposed by the petitioners.

Zammit Dimech acknowledged there had been some changes but said they were perfectly legal and in line with the party statute.

MaltaToday has reached out to PN executive committee president Alex Perici Calascione for comment.