Watch: Process should see PN unite behind leader, whoever that may be – Zammit Dimech

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Whatever the outcome of the difficult process the Nationalist Party is going through, the party should ultimately unite behind whoever ends up leading it, irrespective of whether it would be embattled incumbent Adrian Delia or someone else, according the party’s secretary-general Francis Zammit Dimech.

Speaking on the programme Newsbook Hour on 103FM, Zammit Dimech highlighted the way forward for the party after last Thursday’s executive meeting.

Asked if he saw the light at the end of the tunnel, the party veteran was optimistic.

“I have no doubt that whoever seeks to lead the party is determined to give their utmost, and to render service to the country,” Zammit Dimech said.

But he added that once the process was concluded, with the final decision resting among the party’s paid-up members (tesserati), he expected that the matter should be considered resolved.

“Once the final choice is made… I expect everyone to unite behind the leader of the party, whether it is the incumbent or a new one,” Zammit Dimech maintained.

“The process has its difficulties, but the worst one can do is to avoid taking a decision just because it is a difficult one.”

A compromise between rival proposals

Two competing proposals were presented during last Thursday’s meeting. Delia first suggested that the party’s general council should set up a party conference in which a confidence vote in Delia would be held among the party’s paid-up members.

But in a counterproposal, former MP Michael Asciak suggested that the general council should itself hold a confidence vote in Delia, whilst the tesserati would then be asked to vote for a new party leader.

Zammit Dimech explained that ultimately, there was a lot in common between the two positions, as both would ultimately leave the matter up to the party members. He also emphasised his rejection of the argument that those backing Asciak’s proposal were in any way seeking to deny the tesserati a say, as some Delia loyalists had done while the meeting was ongoing.

The compromise, ultimately, was that the general council would convene on Friday to decide what the party’s paid-up members would ultimately vote for: whether they would vote to confirm Delia or whether a proper leadership election would be held.

The executive committee unanimously agreed on this solution, Zammit Dimech explained, acknowledging that he was proud of his role in this exercise.

During the interview, Zammit Dimech also confirmed that the party has selected a replacement for Gejtu Vella, who resigned his position as chair of the party’s electoral commission shortly after being appointed. The commission will now be led by lawyer Peter Fenech.

The same edition of Newsbook Hour also saw Fr Joe Borg interview PN activist Bernard Grech, who declared his readiness to contest the party’s leadership if needed.