‘Friends of Adrian Delia’ argue against holding PN leadership contest

Allies of embattled Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia insisted that the 2017 vote that made him leader – as well as the confidence vote he won among the general council last year – should be respected as they argued against holding a full leadership contest.

This week, the general council will be deciding on the party’s next course of action, with two options being presented to it: a full leadership contest or a vote to confirm or reject Delia. In each case, the vote would be held among the party’s paid-up members (tesserati) next month.

Delia had pushed for the first course of action, and party veteran Michael Asciak the second, before the executive committee opted for a compromise which left the matter up to the general council.

But in a statement sent on behalf of the “Friends of Nationalist Party Leader Adrian Delia,” five members of the general council, namely Janice Chetcuti, Anton Debono, André Grech, Doriana Portelli and Nicole Zammit, insisted that Delia has been at the helm of significant internal reform which will lead to the renewal of the party.

Delia’s achievements ‘not well received by some individuals’

“From the outset there were significant efforts from the present leader so that through these reforms and a new style of leadership, the party unites through the Nationalist values that make us a unique party,” the group said. “This was not well received by some individuals and thus we now find ourselves at a crossroads where we need to confirm the choice we made in previous votes.”

The group paid no reference to the votes of confidence Delia lost among his parliamentary group and the party’s executive committee, suggesting that the 2017 and 2019 votes took precedence.

They said that the party could return to winning ways through the reforms being implemented, and through a “much needed” continuity as a general election draws near.

“The counsellors should feel honoured that once more WE will be deciding to vote in favour of democracy, in favour of the voice of the people that should be listened to, so that united we can return to a winning country under one leader. The leader that is Adrian Delia, with the people’s party, a winning party,” they concluded.