The Nationalist Party has initiated disciplinary proceedings against its own youth wing, the MŻPN, over a statement and a footage in which it called for embattled party leader Adrian Delia to be replaced.
The party’s decision to pursue this course of action was confirmed by its secretary-general Francis Zammit Dimech, who said that he was constrained to refer the case to the party’s recently-established Commission on Ethics, Discipline and Social Media. The party veteran said that the MŻPN breached a directive he had issued calling for the party’s various branches and sectional committees to refrain from discussing the party’s present situation publicly.
But sources have maintained that Zammit Dimech was ultimately constrained to act against the party’s youth wing by none other than Delia himself. The majority of PN MPs who voted against him in a confidence vote held among the party’s parliamentary group earlier this month stood by this assertion as they accused Delia of sowing division and seeking to silence any dissenting opinions.
Failure to speak up would be ‘irresponsible’ – MŻPN president
Contacted by Newsbook.com.mt mere minutes before Zammit Dimech issued a statement to the press, the MŻPN said that it was not aware of any action being taken against it.
Its president Joseph Grech told the newsroom that the situation demanded that they speak up, and that failing to do so would have been irresponsible on their part.
Grech also emphasised his belief that the PN was the natural home of those who believed in democratic principles and in freedom of expression, and said that the MŻPN appealed for new leadership in the party because many youths felt politically orphaned.
While the official party structures have opted to throw down the gauntlet, however, the majority of PN MPs who voted against Delia expressed solidarity with the young party activists. They also pledged that the young would play a crucial role in the new party leadership.
This week’s statement was not the first occasion in which the MŻPN questioned Delia’s leadership. They had also called for a new leadership team last February, in response to a letter sent to Delia by party veteran Louis Galea seeking to set the wheels in motion for the replacement of Delia’s team.