The Malta Independent 18 November 2017, Saturday

Defiant Delia refuses to back down: ‘PN establishment trying to tarnish my name’

Wednesday, 30 August 2017, 23:39 Last update: about 4 months ago

Adrian Delia said that the Nationalist Party establishment is doing its best to tarnish his reputation, and will not be withdrawing his candidacy.

Minutes after a report by the PN administrative committee urged him to reconsider his position, Delia said that he had already made up his mind to go ahead with his candidature, as the Ethics Committee had found nothing against him.

Instead, the PN administrative committee, which he described as part of the establishment, chose to issue a statement trying to denigrate his reputation. With its action, the PN administrative committee is trying to prejudice the free choice voters have in the election for party leader.

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The Ethics Committee could have “sanctioned me, suspended me or dismissed me”, but it did not take any such decision, because it found nothing wrong, Delia said, urging PN councillors to go to vote on Saturday to elect him and get rid of the party establishment that had gripped the PN.

What was said by the Ethics Committee is not the same as what is being said by the PN administrative committee, the establishment, Delia said, and the PN administrative committee had taken a stand against him when the election had already started - early voters have already cast their preference last Saturday.

There are people who want to make it hard for me to be elected, he said. The request made by the councillor for an investigation was made for all candidates, and yet when the party administration committee issued a statement "it mentioned only me," he said. "Just think why this happened," he said.

Delia said that he is happy with the report compiled by the Ethics Committee which, he recalled, was set up when the electoral process had already started. The Ethics Committee, he said, was satisfied that there was nothing wrong with my candidacy, and it was the PN administrative committee which interpreted it in such a way as to request his reconsideration. Nowhere in the Ethics Committee report is there a suggestion for him to reconsider, yet the administrative committee decided that he should, Delia said.

Delia said that whereas the Ethics Committee found nothing wrong and did not suggest his backing down, the "PN establishment" chose otherwise. But the time has come for the PN councillors and members to choose a "new way" of doing politics, he said, mentioning his slogan for the election.

He said there is no proof of an account in Jersey, adding that he cannot give an explanation about something he does not know about.

Asked if he met outgoing leader Simon Busuttil, Delia replied, "I was waiting to be given a copy of the Ethics Committee report and a copy of the administrative committee statement. I met Busuttil and asked him on what grounds I should reconsider and he said nothing".

 

In comments to the media, Busuttil said that Delia should withdraw his candidacy.

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