The Malta Independent 25 March 2019, Monday

While a number of MPs call for Delia’s resignation, party officials try to drum up support

Kevin Schembri Orland Wednesday, 9 January 2019, 11:21 Last update: about 3 months ago

Nationalist Party officials high up within the party are trying to create a show of strength this Thursday, during an annual party for PN paid-up members after Christmas.

A number of PN sources told this newsroom that messages are doing the rounds to this effect, trying to drum up support and create a show of strength on Thursday.

The Opposition 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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The Malta Independent previously reported that a senior PN source said that a number of Nationalist MPs had 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 has also declared that he has no intention of resigning.

This however, was not the only issue that irked members within his party recently.

Delia had filed a libel suit against Lovin Malta as he felt defamed by a “series of allegations” published on the website. He was asked about libel suits which he had filed during his weekly Sunday interview on party media.

“I have always opened my doors to everyone who wanted to ask every question that needed to be asked. Unfortunately, over the past days, coincidentally when the PN and the Opposition Leader began to rise in the ratings... suddenly a small part of the media launched a whole campaign directed at me personally, when they knew I had personal issues, when my wife and I agreed in court that those are solely issues of a personal nature. Part of the media remained insisting on politicising this material. There was part of the media which, through a clear conspiracy, began spreading rumours to damage me, my family and the PN. These people are damaging the country, and my family. These people are allies of Joseph Muscat and Labour. These people who pretend to be the Paladins of Justice are in an alliance with government to assist them to remain in power. My position with the media is clear. My books are open as are my doors and I have never feared any question...”

Lovin Malta responded and said that the claims made by Delia were untrue and libellous, defending their reputation as being independent, stressing that they form no part of such an alliance.

Delia was asked by this newsroom whether his statement was to be taken as a declaration of war against the media.

“My statements about the media last Sunday where clearly no declaration of war on the media. Rest assured that I do respect the important work of journalists and media houses. However last Sunday I referred to sections of the media, definitely not all, which decided to publish blatant lies and fake news damaging my reputation without duly verifying its truthfulness or the intentions and reliability of the sources behind it,” Delia said

While he holds that his statement was not a declaration of war, his Sunday statement was clearly quite combative.

Shortly after his statement on Sunday, a number of PN higher-ups posted messages on social media, highlighting that the media are not the enemy. These include PN MEP Roberta Metsola, and MPs Chris Said and Claudette Buttigieg.

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