Adrian Delia has refuted calls by his MPs to step down as leader, arguing he still enjoys widespread support from the party grassroots.
In an interview on NET last night, the embattled PN leader said he was overwhelmed by the number of messages of support he found on his phone the morning after he lost a confidence vote among his parliamentary group.
“I apologise to those I haven’t yet responded to but the number of messages I received is quite something,” he said. “I slept a bit last night and when I work up, I found out I had received such a huge volume of messages sending me courage and support. These are PN members (tesserati) who wanted me in this role because they want the PN to return to the people.”
Warning his parliamentary group that he has no intention of resigning, he said he will only step down if he realises the tesserati no longer want him in charge.
“I expect the parliamentary group to respect the will of our members,” he said. “We were in government for 25 years and towards the end many people complained that we had become too arrogant and had started looking down at people. And now we aren’t even going to respect their votes?”
“I promise our members that I will work even more. If I’ve given up practically everything, I will give even more and i I have been unable to persuade, I will become more persuasive. However I definitely won’t lose heart or get swept away by the first, second or third wave, not even if the wave is a tsunami.”
Delia said it is hard to find a role for politicians who refuse to work under him no matter what, strongly suggesting that such people should leave the PN themselves.
“It’s hard to find a place for people who don’t feel comfortable and who don’t want to cooperate, no matter what you do. Others have doubts and it’s my obligation to speak to them and persuade them. We need everyone with goodwill on board and we can no longer tolerate those who harm the PN through premeditated plans, not because they have different opinions but because they don’t understand how the PN works as a team with a single cause.”
“We can disagree on issues but the leader, be it myself or someone else, must take the last word. There’s collective responsibility, but decisions must be taken and everyone must follow that decision.”