[WATCH] PN general council to vote on whether Delia should stay till general election

The PN leader said that the executive committee had ‘unanimously and definitively’ agreed on the question he had put forward himself, albeit with some ‘minor changes’

Adrian Delia said the PN's executive committee had unanimously agreed on the question to be asked in next Saturday's vote of confidence
Adrian Delia said the PN's executive committee had unanimously agreed on the question to be asked in next Saturday's vote of confidence

The Nationalist Party’s general council will be asked to vote on whether leader Adrian Delia should remain at the party’s helm until the next general election.

“The most important thing is that we unanimously decided to go to the general council with the question I had invoked under Article 30C of our statute,” Delia told reporters after a tense five-hour meeting of the executive committee.  

“There was a unanimous agreement on this, and I am happy that our marathon session left a positive outcome.”

Last month, General Council president Kristy Debono was presented with a petition signed by some 200 of the council’s members, asking for a vote to be held on whether Delia should shoulder responsibility for the party’s dismal showing in the European Parliament and local council election.

During a meeting of the executive earlier this month, Delia opted to convene the council himself for a vote of confidence.

However, last week, former PN election candidate Ivan Bartolo, former 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, wrote to newly-elected executive council president Alex Perici Calascione, claiming that the question which will be put to the General Council had been changed from the original wording in the petition.

PN executive committee meeting to discuss question for confidence vote in Adrian Delia

Today's meeting was requested by Perici Calascione after holding discussions on the matter with the party’s secretary general Clyde Puli and electoral commission president Francis Zammit Dimech, as well as Sammut.

Sources who spoke to MaltaToday during the meeting said that Delia insisted that he should be the one to set the question. “If I am going to be the one to convene the General Council, I will set the  question and I will decide who should be kicked out,” Delia is claimed to have said.

Perici Calascione one the other hand is said to have insisted that it should be the committee that decides and that the council should be able to vote on all petitions presented.  

Delia was also said to have told Bartolo and Sammut, both members of the committee, that they had no right to speak on behalf of the petitioners.

Nationalist MP Karol Aquilina left the meeting early, insisting that he had other engagements to attend.

At one point during the meeting, shouting could be heard from outside the building, followed by someone pleading with those present to “stop shouting” (ieqfu naqa). This was however shrugged off by Delia who said he was happy to say that “dialogue and debate” were encouraged within the Nationalist Party. He said that all of those who were present had put the party’s interests first.

“I would like to thank those petitioners who were present in the executive who I think made an important gesture for unity and the good of the party,” Delia said.

The PN leader said he would respect any decision taken by the council next Saturday, while also denying that any of the petitions presented so far were invalid, as had been reported in the media earlier in the day.   

Delia said that the party still had a long way to go and was at the start of a process of renewal and restructuring.

“This includes a vote of confidence in its leader. This must happen, and if it doesn’t the Nationalist Party can’t move forward,” he said, insisting that the attitude he had seen today filled him with confidence that the party was now on the path towards reform.