Adrian Delia’s election as Nationalist Party leader has angered off a bunch of PN supporters, who are ripping up their membership cards (tesseri) in protest.
A Facebook group called ‘Join the Club’ has been set up by Charlie Mangion (iz-Zubina), an ex-convict who was a vocal supporter of Simon Busuttil and who had been a regular presence at PN events along the campaign trail.
However, he has now ripped up his tessera in protest at last weekend’s election of Delia as Busuttil’s successor.
“I gave 50 years of my life to the PN, but it turns out I had been surrounded by poisonous snakes in recent years, and all signs point to these snakes remaining there,” he said. “In my heart of hearts, I knew I was working for the PN because I could tell Simon Busuttil was an honest, sincere and capable man. I will remain a Nationalist but I will no longer work for the party and for certain people within it.”
A few other PN tesserati followed Mangion’s suit and posted photos of their ripped-up tesseri or voiced support for his action, and one went as far as to compared the PN’s assistant secretary general Jean-Pierre Debono – a prominent Delia backer – to Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones for his cunning.
However, other PN supporters urged Mangion and his ilk to channel their rage through other means, with one Philip Hili arguing the tessera does not belong to “the group of people who secretly worked behind our backs to lose the PN the election”.
Others urged Delia’s critics to give the new guy a chance, with one warning their Facebook posts could ultimately end up being used as ammo against the PN in the next election campaign.
Simon Busuttil (left) passes the keys to his office to his successor Adrian Delia
Delia’s campaign had been dogged by reports about how he had laundered money from a Soho prostitution ring over a decade ago, about his personal financial situation, and about his past business relationship with Labour’s deputy leader Chris Cardona.
Indeed, fellow leadership contestant Chris Said had strongly warned a Delia victory would turn the PN into a “photocopy” of Labour, while PN MP Jason Azzopardi – a prominent Said backer – had suggested Delia was actually Labour’s Trojan horse to infiltrate the PN.
However, there have not been any high-profile resignations from the Nationalist Party yet, save for the deputy mayor of Zebbug (Gozo) Daniel Cordina.