The Malta Independent 9 August 2020, Sunday

Watch: Ex-President George Abela is not involved in presidential consultations on PN leadership - PM

Karl Azzopardi Monday, 13 July 2020, 13:06 Last update: about 27 days ago

Prime Minister Robert Abela told this newsroom that his father and former President of Malta George Abela is not involved in the process of consultation that the current President George Vella is undergoing with regards to the current leadership crisis within the Nationalist Party.

Over the past week, the PN has been struck with another leadership crisis which saw two thirds of the PN parliamentary group expressing a lack of confidence in having Adrian Delia stay on as the leader of the Opposition.

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Nonetheless, Delia has insisted that “the party statute clearly states that the party leader is appointed by its members for a term, and I feel obliged to see out that term, and I have no pressure to do otherwise.”  

In light of this, the PN called onto the President of Malta George Vella to look into the situation since the Constitution of Malta states that an Opposition Leader can be removed by the President if he loses the trust of the majority of Opposition MPs.

The President has now met with numerous PN MPs, even Delia, and is now undergoing a process of consultation with previous Presidents for a step forward.

The Malta Independent asked Prime Minster Abela if his father, George Abela, is one of the former presidents that Vella is consulting with, which could result in a conflict of interest seeing that his son is currently the PM under the Labour Government.

“He is absolutely not involved in anything that is taking place at the moment,” Abela confirmed.

He went on to say that the fundamental mistake from the whole situation is that the President had to intervene in a disagreement within the PN.

“If the PN really believed in the rule of law, this would not be something that it would have done. Now the party is waiting for the President of the Republic to solve its internal political conflicts,” he said.

George Abela was the President of Malta from 2009 till 2014. He was succeeded by second female president Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca up until 2019 when George Vella took the post.

Attacks on President

Asked for his opinion on the fact that President Vella has been under fire during this process, Abela said that he is shocked that the President is being attacked.

“According to the constitution he should be allowed to exert his own jurisdiction,” he said. “We have an opposition that has preached and emphasised the importance of good governance and the rule of law, however, now that the time has come to put these words into actions, a part of the Opposition is trying to manipulate his jurisdiction to get its way.”

He believes that this is something that is not totally impermissible within a democracy and it is up to the Opposition to not do this and appealed for them to allow the President to take his decisions as he sees fit.

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