Adrian Delia has refused to resign as leader of the Nationalist Party and the Opposition despite losing a vote of confidence within his parliamentary group.
At a press conference at 1:30am, moments after the vote, Delia said that while he respects the outcome of tonight’s vote, the PN’s members had made their decision clear when they elected him as leader and will, therefore, stay on until the end of the legislature. The decision means the PN will have a Party Leader and a Parliamentary Group leader.
“I will return to work as PN and Opposition leader tomorrow as to fight corruption. I don’t give up or lose heart, and I remain determined to ensure the PN is the voice of the people.”
“My position as Leader of the Opposition or an election is pure speculation. What I can say for certain is that I was elected as PN Leader. I was elected for a term and no one can take that away from me,” Delia added.
He insisted that he would oversee the party’s upcoming reform, pledging to bring new faces into the party.
MPs who voted against Delia will now need to resort to the President of the Republic and for him to accept the result of the vote before a new interim opposition leader is elected.
Delia was booted out as Leader of the PN parliamentary group in a secret voted earlier. Out of 30 votes, 11 voted to keep the leader and 19 voted against.
Delia has been facing renewed pressure ever since he became subject to a magisterial inquiry over an alleged bribe from Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect Yorgen Fenech to prevent MEP David Casa’s re-election.
The Times of Malta published WhatsApp conversations between Delia and Fenech, before his arrest but after the reveal that he owned 17 Black, the Dubai based company linked to the offshore Panama accounts of Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi and the controversial Enemalta purchase of a Montenegrin windfarm.
Delia has denied all wrongdoing but it still did not stop party MPs from questioning his leadership.
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