Adrian Delia has ruled out the possibility of a split between the roles of Opposition leader and PN leader, stating that the Constitution and the party statute don’t permit this.
Delia issued a statement shortly after visiting President George Vella, who is meeting PN MPs one by one to ascertain whether they still recognise Delia or another MP as Opposition leader.
It is likely to come down between Delia and Therese Comodini Cachia, who has been proposed by rebel MPs to take over as Opposition leader.
Delia referred to the Constitution, which states that the leader of the largest political party in Opposition should be the Opposition leader. The Opposition leader can be removed if he doesn’t enjoy the trust of his MPs, but that will force the President to refer to the original clause – ie. that the PN leader and the Opposition leader should be the same person.
Although Delia didn’t specify exactly what he will do if his MPs vote against him, his options seem stark – he will either have to resign or call a leadership election.
And he made it clear once more that he has no intention of resigning, stating that he has promised PN members (tesserati) who voted for him in 2017 that he will remain loyal to them until the end of his mandate.
“This is a particular and difficult period at a moment of huge difficulties,” Delia said. “Everyone must shoulder their responsibility; every MP who goes to the president must decide whether to remove the Opposition leader or not.”
“They must all understand what removing the Opposition leader means and that the PN leader will still be the Opposition leader. The responsibility they shoulder is very clear.”