The Malta Independent 22 September 2019, Sunday

Updated - Watch: Defiant Adrian Delia – ‘I am not leaving’

Sunday, 26 May 2019, 20:16 Last update: about 5 months ago

A defiant Adrian Delia said this evening that he will not abandon the party midway through a legislature, but will continue to fight on.

Delia was speaking to journalists at the counting hall after the PN suffered its biggest ever electoral defeat, losing the European Parliament elections with a projected 51,600 votes.

“I am not going to be resigning as party leader and right now it is time for the party to reflect and learn from the mistakes we have committed, mistakes I myself have made, so that as a party we can become stronger,” he said.

The PN must reflect and learn from its mistakes and listen to what the people have to say.  “We need to see the different sectors and people who criticised our message.”

He explained that the internal changes in the party have begun, and that he will not be leaving just 20 months after taking over the leadership of the Nationalist Party.

He said that the message now is different, that the party must be strengthened and that with such a loss the changes will be much bigger than before. “We have three years, and yes the road for change will be long but we are committed to be stronger.”

“As a party we take on our political responsibility, and this was my first election and yes it did not go as well as I wished, and I believe that in these past few months we came out as a party which cares about Maltese society, and we will not stop caring for the country.”

When asked whether apart from losing an election, Delia also lost an internal party battle, he said that he was extremely clear that all 10 candidates from the Nationalist Party all had different qualities which they highlighted during the campaign. “This was not a campaign for one candidate, but for 10 who all had a specific message they were pushing for; improving the environment, improving health and fighting for justice.” 

The party will welcome whoever wishes to join it. "With the general elections around the corner, we need to start looking towards how we can improve the party, the candidates and what the party will offer internally and for the population as a whole.” He said that these elections do not represent the ability of the candidates. 

He stressed that when the PN was in power for 25 years the party did a lot of good. “I admitted that mistakes were made, but you need to recognise what’s right and where you went wrong.”

When asked if he could point out what exact mistakes he made throughout this campaign, he stressed that he needs to meet every single person, and to see what they need, so that he could implement what the people want. “I had a short time to do everything, and during this we also faced a lot of inner party turmoil and party elections. In the beginning there were people who were not completely pulled towards me but in the last few months I was seeing much more participation.”

He stressed that 90 per cent of a political party is volunteering, where people volunteer without wanting anything back as they provide their time, idea and energy. “I wish we will have more people like this and yes of course new members with such qualities are ideal. We also need to do much more for our youths, and youths, who have zero interest in politics, we try to be more energetic and full of ideas which will push youths to be more interested.”

Delia said that it is too early to predict the outcome of the next general elections, and that now it is the time to reflect as a party, to learn from mistakes and to become a stronger party. “I am not staying out of arrogance, but I am going to stay out to give my contribution and to change what is happening. If there need to arrange and to change, we will do that. I am not one to lose heart and yes we are facing difficulty but I will not leave. We will continue to work, to push forward, and yes we need more people who also embrace the cause of the Party.”

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