For the sake of the country Delia must go – PN MPs

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

While a defiant Adrian Delia, leader of the Partit Nazzjonalista, Sunday morning brushed aside the results of the survey of the Malta Today promising that he will soldier on, a number of MPs of the PN told Newsbook.com.mt that Delia’s position as leader is not tenable. While several MPs said that he has the duty to resign out of a sense of duty to the country, Delia, on the contrary, thinks that he has the duty to keep on fighting out of a sense of duty to the country.

The feeling among the MPs that spoke to Newsbook.com.mt on condition of confidentiality was one of frustration and anger.  They said that they were inundated by messages urging them to urgently do something.

Most insisted that they do not want Delia to be humiliated and that the decision to leave should be his own and not the result of some vote of no confidence. But go, he must, they said pointing to the possible decimation of the PN if he stays on.

“This is no longer about Adrian Delia or the PN. This is about the country said one MP

We will lose by over 80,000 votes, said two different MPs basing their analysis on the result of the survey. The Partit Laburista will have a majority of at least 15 MPs, they added, if the election results follow the same trend as the survey.

Newsbook.com.mt sent emails to Adrian Delia, Clyde Puli, David Agius and Robert Arrigo. We asked for their comments but none were received by the time of publishing this article. Their answers will be printed once received.

What the survey shows

The results of the survey of Malta Today are close to apocalyptic for Delia and the PN.

The survey shows that Prime Minister Robert Abela is trusted by 62.5% of respondents while Adrian Delia is trusted by just 13.5%; a massive difference of 49%. Among the age group 18-35 the trust ratings of Delia are just over 9%.

This is just one in a series of surveys giving very bad trust ratings to Adrian Delia.

A December 2019 survey showed that sixty per cent of respondents said that they trust Minister Chris Fearne while only 18% said that they trust Adrian Delia. Moreover a significant number of respondents who said that they vote PN said that they trust Fearne more than they trust Delia.

Another December 2019 survey showed that both Bernard Grech and Roberto Metsola were trusted more that Delia.

The comments of the Nationalist MPs follow.

“Two thirds majority for Labour”

One MP highlighted the vast difference in votes between the two parties.

“As things stand, the party state of affairs under Delia’s leadership is that the gap between the parties lies at around 80,000 voters. Extrapolating that to the last election results and parliamentary composition, the gap is even wider. This is a disastrous state of affairs as this means that the Labour Party is enjoying a 2/3 majority over the PN. Realistically, with this result, the Labour Party would have a 16 seat majority up from its current majority of 7.”

“Delia’s position untenable”

Another MP stressed that Delia should voluntarily decide to resign.

“It is evident that Delia’s position is no longer tenable. Delia must recognize his duty towards the country. He must voluntarily decide to go so that the country can once more have an Opposition. The PN can only gain ground if it is led by a person trusted by the electorate. If this does not happen then the PN will face a massive electoral defeat that will mark it as the party who conceded large majorities to the opposing party thus creating a democratic deficit in the process.”

“The PN can’t procrastinate”

Another MP blamed the upper echelons of the party.

“This is a disaster and this is Delia’s disaster. Besides, the uppermost echelons of the party are an uncoordinated, warring faction at a time when unity and clarity is needed. The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.

Delia is a hostage of the incompetent people around him.

The party cannot afford to procrastinate till the next election. The proposals being made for the restructuring of the PN have to be implemented as soon as possible so that the Party can start with a clean slate.”

 “A fatalistic attitude is creeping in”

“I and other colleagues are finding it difficult to find canvassers.

I feel that a fatalistic attitude is creeping in among the grass roots. Many are saying that nothing can be done now. They prefer to wait for the election and then get rid of Delia after the drubbing.

On the other hand I prefer a different option. An opt-out that does not humiliate Delia should be found, and then we elect Claudio Grech and Metsola.”

“Bad finances complicate the situation”

.Another MP said that the bad situation in the polls is compounded by the bad financial situation of the party which has deteriorated since Delia became leader.

“Delia should be responsible enough to resign. A way out should be found so that there is no more bloodletting and he is not humiliated. The decision lies in his own hands and he will have to shoulder the responsibility for the electoral disaster that looms.

The situation is compounded by the bad financial situation of the party that has worsened a lot since Delia took over.

The PN today looks like a patient with a weak heart, defective lungs and two broken legs. Can things get worse?”

“Delia did his best”

Another MP gave us a longish answer which Newsbook.com.mt will print as an opinion piece in the coming days.

In his comment he stresses that the present situation is not about Delia or the PN but about the country and the democratic deficit that the country is experiencing because of the weakness of the Opposition.

“Delia has to realize that the saying that no one is greater than the Party is applicable to him. He did his best, of this I have no doubt. But his best was nowhere good enough.

In front of God he has a moral duty to do the honorable thing and leave now.”