The Malta Independent 8 December 2021, Wednesday

PN election - Bernard Grech elected 9th PN leader, Adrian Delia concedes defeat

Saturday, 3 October 2020, 12:11 Last update: about 2 years ago

Bernard Grech has been elected as the ninth leader of the Nationalist Party, obtaining 67% of the votes cast.

Giving official results, Electoral Commission President Peter Fenech said that Adrian Delia obtained 5,622 votes, while Bernard Grech obtained 12,633 votes.

Seventy-seven votes were invalid.

This meant that Grech obtained 69.3% of the valid votes, while Delia pocketed 30.7%.

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In all, 21,660 were eligible to vote.

The Malta Independent is informed that Delia called Grech to concede defeat soon after it became clear that he had lost the election.

Speaking at a press conference, outgoing PN leader Adrian Delia pledged loyalty to Grech.

In a Facebook post, Grech said this was the “first step towards truly uniting and renewing the Nationalist Party.” He thanked all those who made this possible. He also thanked his “colleague” Adrian Delia, saying he is certain that Delia will remain active within the party. Thanking his wife and children, Grech said the “real work starts now.”

 

Grazzi minn qalbi. Illejla flimkien għamilna l-ewwel pass. Pass biex dan il-Partit verament ngħaqqduh, inġedduh u...

Posted by Bernard Grech on Saturday, October 3, 2020

In a post on Facebook, Delia said we must now work together in the best interests of the party, and also in the best interests of the country.

"I will work harder than ever before," Delia said.

Illum ivvutaw 'il fuq minn 18,000 tesserati tagħna. Kważi 85% ta’ dawk kollha eliġibbli fi żmien diffiċli għal partit u...

Posted by Adrian Delia on Saturday, 3 October 2020

PN MP Jason Azzopardi, one of the top party officials who supported Grech, uploaded an indicative post on Facebook, saying that a "new day has dawned".

The leadership election was held after Delia lost two confidence votes, one within the PN’s parliamentary group and the other in the Executive Committee. The votes were held amid claims that Delia had remained in touch with Daphne murder mastermind Yorgen Fenech even after he was outed as the owner of 17 Black – a company allegedly set up to give kickbacks to Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi. Delia has insisted that any communication he had with Fenech was of “no significance.” 

A general council was later held and voted for the party to hold a leadership race. 

Initially, a number of individuals were interested to contest the election, but it was later decided that only Bernard Grech should challenge Delia. Both candidates were submitted to a due diligence process which highlighted tax issues for both candidates. The due diligence panel had complained that it did not have the required resources and time to carry out its function properly. 

The process concluded around three weeks ago, with both candidates launching their campaigns shortly after.

The three-week campaign was a bitter one, with Delia often complaining that Grech’s team was trying to undermine him. The latest episode revolved around the only contenders’ debate, which took place last week.

Delia was elected PN Leader on 16 September 2017. He was elected by the party’s tesserati – a process that was used for the first time in that election. He has always insisted that he was given a 5-year mandate and that only the party members can vote to remove him.

 

 

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