President likely to appoint a new leader of the opposition – PN MP

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A PN MP who preferred not to be named has indicated that the next logical step is for the President to appoint another MP as leader of the opposition. This is likely to happen in the coming hours said the MP.

Embattled PN Leader Adrian Delia remained obdurate following a defeat in a confidence motion in the early hours of the Wednesday morning. The confidence motion was tabled by two MPs: Chris Said and Therese Commodini Cachia. Nineteen voted against Delia, eleven in his favour. In a press conference, Delia said that while he respected the position of these MPs, he had been voted as a leader of the party by the paid-up members. He emphasised that this vote had been given twice and for that reason, he had every intention of staying on as Party leader for the remainder of the legislature. “I am not a person who gives up and I am not a person who gives in” asserted Delia after underlining again the numerous corruption scandals which are at the moment threatening to submerge government.

Newsbook.com.mt received several reactions to the current situation. Former editor and veteran journalist Lawrence Grech remarked that Delia seems to be digging his heels in and will take the fight to the bitter end. He added that what Delia needs to realise at the moment is that what matters is not the vote of the paid up party members but the vote of the people “and one opinion poll after another has shown that the man is not electable”. Grech added that that with a government in shambles, wading waist deep in corruption scandals, the opposition should be riding the crest of a popularity wave “But it isn’t”, concluded Grech, adding “Leading the Opposition with the majority of your MPs clearly having no confidence in you just doesn’t make sense.”

Another source, an MP said that with Delia now not enjoying the backing of his parliamentary group, the party executive is irrelevant as this situation triggers a constitutional crisis. The source said that the worst thing that could happen would be for the President to appoint a leader of the opposition while the party remains under Delia as leader. “That would truly split the party” said the MP who preferred not to be named.

On the other hand, another source who spoke to Newsbook.com.mt said that if the President appoints a new Leader of the opposition as seems likely to happen, this person might prove to be a catalyst, a rallying point for both voters and paid-up members. The very fact that another name would be ‘pitted against’ Delia would be the real litmus test on the level of support that Delia enjoys within the party structures. “After all,” observed the source, “Delia got 67% of the paid-up members’ vote when he was running against himself.”