Former Nationalist MP Franco Debono urged President George Vella to exercise his constitutional powers and remove Adrian Delia as Opposition Leader.
“The constitutional consequences after this vote are that the President is bound to remove the Opposition Leader and appoint someone else, acting under article 90(4) of the Constitution,” Debono said. “This empowers the president to remove the Opposition Leader from his role if, in the President’s judgement, he doesn’t command the support and backing of the majority of his MPs.”
Adrian Delia lost a confidence vote as Leader of the PN parliamentary earlier today, with 11 Nationalist MPs voting to keep him as leader, whilst 19 voted against.
Despite losing the vote of confidence, Delia has refused to resign as leader of the Nationalist Party and Opposition.
“My position as leader of the Opposition for an election is pure speculation,” Delia said. “What I can say for certain is that I was elected as PN Leader. I was elected for a term and no one can take that away from me.”
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 but it still did not stop party MPs from questioning his leadership.
Franco Debono went on to urge President Vella to enquire into the situation at hand by speaking individually to MPs and subsequently reaching a judgement.
“In this case, it is very clear that the Opposition leader has lost the required support and the President’s hands are almost tied, he must remove and appoint someone else.”