Simon Busuttil snubs Adrian Delia’s request to co-sign motion on Keith Schembri

PN parliamentary group meeting fails to agree to walk together in the Repubblika anti-corruption protest 

Adrian Delia wanted to bridge with dissidents by asking Simon Busuttil and Jason Azzopardi to co-sign the parliamentary motion against Keith Schembri
Adrian Delia wanted to bridge with dissidents by asking Simon Busuttil and Jason Azzopardi to co-sign the parliamentary motion against Keith Schembri

Simon Busuttil snubbed a proposal by Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia to co-sign the parliamentary motion calling on the Prime Minister to remove Keith Schembri, MaltaToday has learnt.

Delia made the proposal during the PN’s parliamentary group meeting last Wednesday. Sources privy to the discussions said the PN leader wanted Busuttil and Jason Azzopardi, who was abroad on the day, to co-sign the motion with him.

Busuttil refused and eventually, the motion was signed by Delia, PN deputy leader David Agius and PN Whip Robert Cutajar.

Delia has been advised to bridge with dissidents and be inclusive in the parliamentary group as this was his only hope to regroup the party and win back support from the grass roots.

The sources said that an attempt by Delia’s supporters calling for the PN parliamentary group to be together when joining the Repubblika anti-corruption protest tomorrow also found opposition from dissidents.

The PN parliamentary group had a lengthy discussion on the motion after last Monday’s court outcome, which saw Joseph Muscat’s chief of staff Keith Schembri drop a libel case against Simon Busuttil.

Schembri had refused to answer questions in court related to 17 Black despite Magistrate Victor Axiak warning him of consequences. Eventually, Schembri dropped the libel case, insisting that he was answering about 17 Black in a magisterial inquiry that is underway.

Meanwhile, Delia said that he will be attending Repubblika’s protest and the PN will support the event.

On Monday, Busuttil had urged the PN to organise its own protests against corruption in the wake of Schembri’s actions.

Saturday’s protest is being held on the same day marking 25 months since the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Vigils marking the journalist’s assassination are held every 16th of the month in Valletta.

The NGO Repubblika is one of the organisations behind the monthly vigil and has been critical of the government’s track record on the rule of law. But it has also been very critical of Adrian Delia.

During last month’s second anniversary, Delia was given a public dressing down by Caruana Galizia’s sister when he went to lay flowers at the foot of the Great Siege monument, which has become a makeshift memorial for the journalist.

Caruana Galizia’s father had also accused the PN of trying to capitalise on his daughter’s murder when the Sliema committee organised a Mass and talk to commemorate the journalist.

Delia and Muscat had been asked by the Caruana Galizia family to stay away from the journalist’s funeral.

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