The Malta Independent 24 September 2020, Thursday

‘Delia might not make it to the starting line’ – leadership election could be one-horse race

Monday, 3 August 2020, 19:18 Last update: about 3 months ago

Adrian Delia might not even make it to the starting line in the upcoming PN leadership election, with some of the ‘rebel’ MPs expected to do their utmost to ensure that he does not get past the due diligence stage, party sources have told this newspaper.

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A source close to Delia told this newsroom he believes that, ultimately, it will be a-one-horse race and Adrian Delia will not make it to the ballot sheet.

It is understood that the rebel MPs are trying to dissuade some potential candidates from contesting the election, in hopes that only one strong candidate is presented to the tesserati (paid-up members). They believe that Delia would have a stronger chance of winning if the tesserati who do not support him split their votes between several other candidates.

The ‘rebel’ group, the source said, is also split on the way forward. Some want Roberta Metsola to be the only contestant, while others feel that Therese Comodini Cachia, who was recently nominated by the group to serve as Opposition Leader, to also throw her name in the hat.

But sources within the PN claim that the rebel MPs are concerned with Bernard Grech's popularity amongst paid up members and that, should he pursue his ambition to contest the leadership race, the anti-Delia vote will be split between 2 possibly 3 contestants.

In view of this, the MPs have been told that the party needs one candidate for all PN supporters to rally around, in one massive vote of confidence. 

But for this to happen, those who opposed Adrian Delia believe that he must be stopped by the due-diligence commission, the PN source said.

There are also rumours that, should Metsola contest and win the election, she would take Hermann Schiavone’s seat. The MP has already offered to relinquish his parliamentary seat.

But members of the ‘rebel’ group believe that Delia should be the one who gives up his seat, given that he was not elected, but was awarded his seat by Jean Pierre Debono.

The new leader will be chosen by a general convention, with some 20,000 tesserati eligible to vote. The Malta Independent has reported that the PN intends to conclude the process before the Independence Day celebrations.  

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