PN MP Jason Azzopardi with leader Adrian Delia
Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi has appeared to suggest there exists some secret agreement between Opposition leader Adrian Delia and certain government officials.
“Local media these days has certain “advices/defences” from supposed “opponents” being bandied about,” Azzopardi said in a Facebook post. “Have you ever heard in football, say, the Roma coach giving advice or defending his Lazio counterpart? Or the Manchester United coach defending/advising the Liverpool coach? Or the Real Madrid coach advising/defending the Barcelona coach? Or Valletta’s coach advising Floriana’s coach? Of course not. Not unless they have a hidden agreement to safeguard their common interests….”
Azzopardi has strongly criticised Delia in the past, even describing him as “Labour’s Trojan Horse” during the 2017 leadership campaign. According to Illum, he and fellow MP Beppe Fenech Adami are privately urging other MPs to call for Delia’s resignation.
Azzopardi uploaded his post after government planning consultant Robert Musumeci told Times Talk that Delia should “take decisive action” against officials who are disloyal to him.
“He cannot afford to wait any longer,” Musumeci said. “He has to identify and reward the people who are truly loyal to him. And if he has decisions to take, he has to take them, decisively.”
On Sunday, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat also stuck his neck out for Delia, arguing that democracy dictates that the PN members’ choice of leader must be respected.
“The PN’s members chose a leader but it is clear that the powers that be within the PN don’t respect this decision,” Muscat said. “The situation within the PN is none of my business, but what interests me is their state of mind, because it reminds me of how some PN MPs had voted against divorce or abstained from voting in Parliament even though the people had voted for it in a referendum [in 2012]. When you present the people with a choice, then you must implement their decisions and the only way to overthrow a referendum is through another referendum.”
“This same forma mentis is now repeating itself within the Opposition. There are people behind the scenes in the PN who believe that only their opinions are valid and that democracy is only relevant when the people agree with them. It’s a trait that betrays them and is extremely dangerous.”
Robert Musumeci has urged Adrian Delia to take decisive action against his dissidents
Delia is facing internal pressure to resign after his wife Nickie Vella de Fremeaux accused him of domestic violence and private messages and videos were subsequently leaked to WhatsApp.
However, although several MPs and officials have, on condition of anonymity, called for Delia’s resignation, only PN Executive President Mark Anthony Sammut has publicly voiced his concerns.
PN insiders have told Lovin Malta that dissidents are concerned any move against Delia could isolate them from the party grassroots, among whom the Opposition leader remains significantly popular.