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Five Months Ago, Malta’s President Said He Would Be Obliged To Remove Adrian Delia If He Lost Support Of Parliamentary Group

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With Adrian Delia vowing to stay on as PN Leader despite losing a confidence vote among his parliamentary group, attentions have started to turn to President George Vella and whether or not he will intervene. But five months ago, Vella revealed he would be obliged to take action if such a situation arose.

In February 2020, Vella said that the constitution obliges him to take action once there is proof that the Opposition leader no longer enjoys the support of his parliamentary group. With 19 out of 30 MPs voting against, it’s clear Delia does not have the backing of his MPs.

“The work of the President is often not done publicly, and it is not right that one reveals all that is going on. It is important that one is attentive in order to follow on the Constitution’s obligations, and to act when things get to the point that action is needed.”

“You need concrete proof that a majority of Opposition MPs no longer have faith in the Opposition leader… Had concrete proof of this been made known to me, action would have been taken. Till now, the concrete proof isn’t available, it doesn’t exist.”

“I am tied by Article 90 of the Constitution … as soon as I have concrete proof that there isn’t the support of the majority, this would mean they no longer have faith in the Opposition leader. In that case, his position won’t be tenable. But I am not there to push such a situation, I am there to react to developments,” Vella told Malta Today.

Delia lost the confidence vote just passed midnight earlier today. Nineteen MPs voted against him, with just 10 (11 if Delia is included) backing the leader.

He insists that the PN’s paid-up members had elected him to the role of leader and he vowed to stay on until the end of the legislature. Should Delia stay on, the PN could end up in the anomalous situation of having a Party Leader and an Opposition Leader.

Delia has been facing renewed pressure ever since he became subject to a magisterial inquiry over an alleged bribe from Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect Yorgen Fenech to prevent MEP David Casa’s re-election.

The Times of Malta published WhatsApp conversations between Delia and Fenech, before his arrest but after the reveal that he owned 17 Black, the Dubai based company linked to the offshore Panama accounts of Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi and the controversial Enemalta purchase of a Montenegrin windfarm.

Delia has denied all wrongdoing.

Lovin Malta has reached out to the President to get his comments on the current issue.

Photo credit: DOI Jason Borg

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