Opposition leader Adrian Delia has promised to implement “drastic changes” in his shadow Cabinet, strongly signalling that he will sideline MPs who still oppose him in the wake of the President’s decision not to remove him as Opposition leader.
Interviewed on Realta’, Delia said he will never again trust MPs who have shown time and time agains that they distrust him, specifically naming Therese Comodini Cachia, Claudette Buttigieg, Chris Said and David Thake.
Comodini Cachia was nominated by the majority of Opposition MPs as Opposition leader, a request that was thrown out by President George Vella today.
Said and Buttigieg submitted the motion to the President in the first place, while Thake described the attempt to remove Delia as an attempt to “free this party from the monster that is trying to control it”.
“His words didn’t damage me but the political community,” Delia said of Thake’s speech. “I’m not in politics to insult to attack people but to improve their lives. Will any Maltese person think their lives will improve as a result of David Thake’s words? Will anyone hear those words and hope that Thake gets into power because he will serve them?”
Delia strongly criticised his MPs who warned that Vella has failed to uphold the Constitution by refusing to remove him as Opposition leader.
“I was ready to shoulder responsibility for my decisions and everyone must do the same,” Delia said. “The decisions they must make are clear. They have no respect for the President, the Constitution, the PN statute or the party members, so one must reach the conclusion that they only respect themselves.”
Delia said he isn’t an impulsive person but that he no longer trusts MPs who have shown time and time again that they don’t trust him and that he will “drastically reshuffle” his shadow cabinet in the coming days.
However, he refused to state outright whether he will take any disciplinary action against the MPs, stating they made their own decision on whether they will remain part of the PN or not and that people who breached the party statute must be held responsible.
“When you clearly try to weaken you leader and damage your party, and this a time when the NAO published its report on Vitals…. if you truly loved your party and country, you would have united with me to impose pressure against corruption.”
“The Prime Minister said the memorandum of understanding [on the Vitals hospital deal] should be found by today. If they really cared about the rule of law and the fight against corruption, we should have issued a statement on the MOU and they’d have joined me when I filed a court case against the Vitals deal by myself.”
“Instead they engaged in an internal attack.”
Without naming people, Delia criticised politicians who “try to influence people by scaring them about things that have yet to emerge”.
“I have nothing to be scared or ashamed of, I’m not the monster or the freemason they say I am. I didn’t launder money or traffic drugs, I’m not in cahoots with Joseph Muscat, I’m not a Labourite from birth.”
“I was even called Hitler, and this by people who should respect free expression, democracy and the rule of law.”