Adrian Delia formally enters PN leadership race

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Embattled Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia has formally confirmed his intention to contest the party’s upcoming leadership contest, which was called by its general council against its wishes.

The party’s electoral commission had issued a call for expressions of interest earlier this week, and prospective candidates have until Monday to declare their intention to contest.

So far, Delia is the only candidate to respond to this call, or even to publicly confirm his intention to do so.

Those opposed to his continued leadership are seeking to rally behind a single candidate, which is set to be lawyer Bernard Grech. PN MEP Roberta Metsola and MP Therese Comodini Cachia have both confirmed that they will not be contesting.

Delia lost three votes within the party in the space of one month, including a confidence vote among its parliamentary group and another among its executive committee. The general council subsequently defied his wishes for a simple confirmation vote by voting in favour of holding a party leadership election.

But as he confirmed that he had informed the electoral commission of his interest to contest, Delia said that he placed great faith on the party’s paid-up members (tesserati), who will ultimately be voting for the party’s leader. He emphasised that the destiny of the party lay in their hands.

Delia also said that the choice he was presenting was clear – “a new way, with new people” – suggesting his intention to act against those who defied his leadership. His room for manoeuvre may be somewhat limited, however, given that most of his party’s MPs have defied him in the first place.