The Malta Independent 4 August 2020, Tuesday

Delia’s new way failed and left a disastrous impact on the party, ‘rebel’ MPs say

Karl Azzopardi Sunday, 12 July 2020, 08:00 Last update: about 22 days ago

Adrian Delia’s ‘new way’ failed and left a disastrous impact on the party, its members and its structures, the 17 PN MPs who lost confidence in the Opposition told The Malta Independent on Sunday in a joint statement.

The list of the MPs (and two MEPs) who voted against Delia in a confidence vote on Tuesday was revealed earlier this week. Among them are three MPs who had been avid supporters of Delia from the beginning but have since had a change of heart; Kirsty Debono, Hermann Schiavone and Stephen Spiteri.

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Notably, Kristy Debono was President of the PN General Council from 2017 until earlier this year when she handed in her resignation when the PN was facing another crisis.

Debono and Schiavone had famously held a meeting with former Tumas Group director and 17 Black owner Yorgen Fenech. The MPs had claimed that they were not the ones who set up the meeting but Schiavone later suspended himself and asked to be investigated. A PN ethics committee had later said that he had not breached any ethics or regulations.

When contacted individually by this newsroom and asked why they made the switch, the three MPs explained that they would prefer issuing a collective statement with the other MPs who lost confidence in Delia, as they find that it is important to stick together during these trying times.

In their statement they explained that back in 2017, when Delia was elected as PN Leader after getting 52.7% of the Party Members, he was given a mandate to lead the Party, provide a strong and credible Opposition, and to offer an alternative Government – “which is today crucial more than ever.”

“Unfortunately, three years down the line, the Party is not only not in a better situation than three years ago, but much worse. This in terms of numbers and popularity, as well as when it comes to credibility. Adrian Delia’s new way failed and left a disastrous impact on the Party, its members and its structures,” they said.

They believe that the huge number of allegations against him put him in a position where he is not credible to provide a strong Opposition as well as to offer hope to this country. His credibility has been also dented due to a number of occasions where he was caught lying.

“His lack of credibility is keeping the Party back from being an alternative Government,” the statement read.

They emphasised that this is not about a single MP changing his mind but about two third of the MP's having the courage and the collective resolve to give democracy a fighting chance in this country.

“As we have reiterated on countless occasions, this is nothing personal against Adrian Delia,” they said. “Conversely, it is a genuine call for him to realise that he should do the honourable thing expected by the vast majority of his Parliamentary Group and - as surveys unequivocally reflect - the vast majority of the electorate.”

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