The Malta Independent 9 August 2020, Sunday

19 PN parliamentary group members give reasons why Delia must step down

Friday, 10 July 2020, 16:59 Last update: about 30 days ago

The 19 Nationalist parliamentary group members who voted against Adrian Delia in a secret ballot last Tuesday have again called on him to step down, stating that in three years of leadership he had not managed to do what he had promised.

“Every day that he remains in the role means more damage to the party and the country”, the statement read.

In a joint statement on Friday afternoon, the unnamed members recalled how Delia had been given “a mandate to lead the party, to strengthen the structures, to lead a strong Opposition, and to prepare for a general election”.

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However, the statement laments, he had failed to achieve these aims.

The MPs go on to list the reasons as to why they think that Delia’s position is untenable.

The MPs say that he did not manage to unite the electorate which had always supported the PN and, more so, had not managed to convince the voters who had stopped supporting the PN. The results of the 2019 MEP elections and local council elections and all the political surveys published since are cited as evidence of this.

The statement continues that another reason is that Delia’s attitude and decisions have created an almost irreparable divide between party members and activists.

Thirdly, the statement reads that Delia had not managed to get rid of the “large number”of serious allegations against him, which placed him in such a position that he was always forced to defend himself. Many times, they said, the PN ended up being used to defend his own personal situations.

“In light of this, these 19 PN parliamentary group members consider Delia’s position to no longer be tenable and insist he must shoulder responsibility by stepping down as Opposition leader,” they wrote.

“We sadly note that Delia keeps on ignoring our call and is making the same mistakes he has made in the past three years, which resulted in a lot of damage cause to the PN and Malta.”

“In this spirit, and in the best interest of the PN and Malta, the 19 PN MPs declare they no longer trust Adrian Delia as Opposition leader and unanimously agree that Therese Comodini Cachia should be appointed in his stead.”

The statement comes as the President continued to meet PN MPs throughout Friday.  He met Comodini Cachia on Friday afternoon, as he edges closer to making a decision.

The President can, as per the Constitution, cite Article 90 (4) and remove Delia from the post of Opposition leader if he has lost the faith of the majority of the Opposition bench in Parliament.

The currently ongoing process has kicked off an ugly rift in the PN. One of the MPs opposing Delia – David Thake – has said that they were trying to remove a “monster” who was trying to drive the party into the wall, while another Edwin Vassallo, one of the MPs who supported Delia, has said that if the process continues, resignations or the dissenting MPs becoming independent MPs is inevitable.

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