Restless MPs confront Delia over ‘PN’s absence’ from national protest

MPs Claudio Grech, Beppe Fenech Adami and Mario de Marco tell Delia that PN is “nowhere to be seen” and “rendering itself unelectable”

Adrian Delia attended last Sunday's protest with a delegation from the PN
Adrian Delia attended last Sunday's protest with a delegation from the PN

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia was yesterday confronted by party heavyweights Claudio Grech, Beppe Fenech Adami and Mario de Marco that the PN was “nowhere to be seen” and that it was “rendering itself unelectable”.

Delia yesterday called an urgent parliamentary group and executive committee meeting that first started off with a debate on a good governance policy paper he launched yesterday.

But his speech was halted by the interjections of angry speakers who told Delia that the party’s absence from the protests and not being a leader in the civil society-led protests was making the PN irrelevant.

MP Claudio Grech said the party had to take a stand in this crucial hour, and that people expected the PN to act. 

This was also echoed by former deputy leaders De Marco and Fenech Adami, who questioned Delia’s approach and complained that the leader was leaving no impact – a perception confirmed by today’s MaltaToday survey, which sees the PN’s prospective vote increase support by a mere one percentage point.

In the party’s defence, PN secretary-general Clyde Puli suggested that the party should first appear united and that everyone had to publicly appear together with Delia – a reference to the obvious internal split, where MPs loyal to former leader Simon Busuttil are never to be seen close to Delia during such manifestations.

Delia also suffers from a lack of trust among PN voters loyal to Busuttil, who in 2017 had suggested that Delia retire from the PN leadership race when Daphne Caruana Galizia revealed that the lawyer represented the Maltese owner of London properties used as brothels.

A senior MP who was at the meeting complained that time was quickly running out for the PN now midway through the legislature. “We cannot go on like this. With all Delia’s good intentions he cannot win us an election. We should be at the forefront of these protests.  There is a resistance to bridge out to the protestors. This cannot go on forever. Delia and Puli are simply in denial and cannot see their formula has failed.”