PN Branches: Half express support; half still to meet

Ian Noel Pace

While half the branches of the Partit Nazzjonalista have already released a statement in favour of Leader Adrian Delia, the other half told Newsbook.com.mt that they still need to meet, some at the beginning of February, while other had no comments to make.

The five branches out of ten which have given their public support to Delia are: the PN Women, Forum for SMEs, College of Local Councillors, the Workers’ branch, and the College of Candidates. Those which have not commented yet are the Youth Movement, Equal Opportunities Forum, Pensions Association, Professionals Forum, and the College of Ex-Deputies.

What did those in favour say?

Those in favour published similar statements in the same day. The PN Women’s branch started on the 9th January, with President Charlene Buttigieg Farrugia confirming with Newsbook.com.mt that the decision was taken unanimously by all members on a WhatsApp chat.

Three other branches followed, with the Forum for SMEs saying the statement was published unanimously . When asked if all members agreed, President Andre Grech asked for the question to be sent via email.

Newsbook.com.mt is informed that in the case of the College of Local Councillors, members were given just a few minutes to give their opinions on the statement on WhatsApp, consequently publishing the statement before every member had even seen the message. Although there were voices against the statement, the College said that it is “convinced by the stellar reputation of Leader Adrian Delia while giving him full support.”

The workers’ branch also supported Delia, but when Newsbook.com.mt asked if all the members agreed, President Ivan Castillo asked for the question to be sent to the PN’s Director for Information.

The College of Candidates was the only one who said that their declaration in favour of Delia was approved during a meeting. In fact, their statement was published on Facebook late the same evening. President Charles Selvaggi said this was a scheduled meeting and all members agreed on the position.

Those which haven’t spoken out yet

Meanwhile, among the branches which haven’t openly supported Delia, there are the Youth Movement. Sources who spoke to Newsbook.com.mt said that the majority of the Executive members are against public statements in favour of Delia. A scheduled meeting is expected to happen on Monday. The sources also said that the Forum for Equal Opportunities are in the same situation.

The President of the Pensioners’ Association Mario Rizzo Naudi told Newsbook.com.mt that this issue merits discussion during a meeting. He said the internal situation of the PN will be discussed in a meeting on the 6th February.

The President of the Professionals Forum Graham Bencini meanwhile said that he has no comments to make. This newsroom is informed that the Forum is not planning on meeting in the coming says; and that the College of ex-Deputies is not expected to publish any statements either.

Videos on WhatsApp

Adrian Delia is currently under pressure after a number of domestic violence allegations surfaced over the last few weeks. A number of videos are being shared on WhatsApp which are not making his situation any easier.

The PN Leader said that the videos are “edited and manipulated”. He said that he will respect the agreement him and his estranged wife took in Court to not comment publicly about the case. He also said that his libel suit against Lovin Malta will show the truth.

Meanwhile, amidst the uncertainty, the PN leadership met with activists for a rally in the hall of the PN Headquarters Thursday evening. Delia was welcomed by a crowd estimated to have been of around 400 people.

Last Monday, Delia also said that the message he sent on WhatsApp where he referenced a “war” was about the upcoming European Elections. He said that the message was meant to inspire courage in the members of the PN.