The Malta Independent 16 January 2019, Wednesday

‘I have no intention of resigning’ – Adrian Delia

Kevin Schembri Orland Tuesday, 8 January 2019, 08:45 Last update: about 8 days ago

Embattled Opposition Leader Adrian Delia yesterday evening told The Malta Independent that he has no intention of resigning.

The PN Leader is facing allegations of domestic violence, leading to arguments that his position as leader is no longer tenable. It was recently reported that the PN’s executive committee will discuss the allegations being made against Delia.

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To make matters worse, he sent a Whatsapp message early Monday morning to PN administrative council members, which was interpreted by some as being a threat to members of the party’s Administrative Council.

Delia’s Whatsapp message read: “Today, Christmas time has ended. For most a time of peace and caring. It was alas for us a time of battle. In war there are mercenaries who wage it merely for monetary gain. Most are so. Few, indeed very few, heroes for love of God and country. Sometimes they turn the battle and at times of rare they win the war. Eternally history lauds them. But sadly most are lost not by lack of them but by traitors who cross the line and sell their souls , an instance distraught which can a nations destiny forebear.

We are at war, no doubts remain. Most will fight and lose or win. Some will perish. Warriors few, they live to fight and win to die and hence shall live forever. The time has come, the time is now. For love of God and country in here only warriors true belong.”

An internal PN source said that some Administrative Council members saw the message sent to the Council by Delia as a threat.

Delia was asked by this newsroom, through an email, why he sent the message, and what he meant by it.

“I have absolutely not sent any threatening message to the Administrative Council members. The only war I have waged is against injustice, corruption and poverty. My message was to the contrary a metaphoric and encouraging battle cry for everyone to focus on up-coming elections,” he told The Malta Independent.

He was also asked about the allegations which surfaced over the past weeks and months, and whether he feels that staying on as leader will damage the party’s chances in future elections? He was asked whether he will step down until the matter is resolved in court.

“Unfortunately we are living in times where some are more interested in character assassination and fake news than searching for the truth and doing the right thing. I have no intention of resigning and abandoning this fight. It will not be the right thing to do.”

A senior PN Source told this newsroom that a number of Nationalist MPs have approached the embattled leader and told him that his position is no longer tenable, and that Delia replied that he has no intention of budging.

While it has been reported that some MPs have been working to oust Delia before May’s European Parliament election, another group is urging him to take a decision after the election. “If Delia were to leave now, a few months before the election, the party would descend further into chaos,” one source said.

Delia yesterday also gave comments to Newsbook, where he said that those who are not behind the Leader do not have a place in the party.

PN General Council Secretary Kristy Debono, who is a strong supporter of Opposition Leader Adrian Delia, told The Malta Independent yesterday that Delia still holds strong support from the party and its supporters.

Debono said she is not aware of any strategy for an internal war within the PN, however she admitted that these are not the best of times for the party. She believes that the only way forward is for all the party supporters to rally behind the party structure. She said she has never witnessed any kind of talk that anyone from the leadership is after some form of war.

She said she believes Delia still holds strong support, given all that is going on, from both the party and the supporters. She also feels that people are sympathetic to Delia.

While the PN General Council President believes there is strong support for Delia, sources within the party paint a different picture, one where many are concerned about the situation.

A source within the PN stressed that people get worried when they see that type of message (referring to Delia’s Whatsapp message to the Council). “Any leader who really wants to unify the party would not issue something like that. It’s a declaration of war.” The source hopes that reason prevails, and said that this is not a situation of one organised group against another and that everything is fluid, adding that people are very stressed from all sides. “It is about having the right opposition to stand up to corruption.” The source said that the party is currently “giving the Labour Party a field day.”

Another source within the PN highlighted that some Administrative Council members believe Delia’s position is untenable. In addition, this source also mentioned that some people within the party who backed Delia before the recent allegations are having certain misgivings about him now.

Internal sources also highlighted that this is yet another issue which the party has lost credibility on.

The PN’s Administrative Council had previously backed Delia throughout his term as leader. In July 2018, the Council had expressed its full support to party leader Adrian Delia and called upon former leader Simon Busuttil to step down. The council had been summoned urgently that day in the wake of the publication of the conclusions of the inquiry about the Prime Minister and his wife, which found no evidence of them being the owners of a secret company in Panama.

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