PN MEP candidate Michael Briguglio has backed Adrian Delia in the leadership crisis that has gripped the party, warning that the “law of the jungle” will reign if the party’s rules are not adhered to.
“The PN’s new statute was unanimously approved a few days ago, it should be allowed to function and everyone should respect it,” Briguglio said. “I respect democracy and the rules; if we don’t go down that route, we could reach a situation where people consider the PN as their own property.”
“This shouldn’t be the case; the PN is the property of its members and regulated by its statute, and no matter who the leader is, we should follow the rules.”
“We can disagree with each other,” Briguglio said, “but the rules are like a pact that binds us together. Without the rules, the law of the jungle will reign and only the strongest will succeed.”
An estimated two-thirds of PN MPs have told President George Vella that they don’t have trust in Delia as Opposition leader and recognise Therese Comodini Cachia as the true leader.
Malta’s Constitution states that the President should remove an Opposition leader if the majority of his MPs recognise another sitting MP as their leader.
However, there are differing legal interpretations over whether the President is actually empowered to appoint that second person as Opposition leader, and the PN’s statute states that the PN leader should be Opposition leader when the party is in opposition and Prime Minister when it is in government.
Delia, who was elected PN leader in 2017, has said he intends to fulfil his mandate and lead the party into the next general election.
This is an unprecedented situation in Malta’s recent political history and President Vella is expected to set constitutional case law when he makes his decision.