If it wasn’t yet amply clear before, Adrian Delia yesterday proved why he has no place at the helm of a political party and should now be forced out as aggressively and quickly as possible.
The disrespect he has shown to his own party is unbelievable. He is holding the party hostage to his own ego.
He is clearly intent on causing the maximum damage possible, which is precisely the opposite of what he was elected to do.
After being voted out by two-thirds of his parliamentary group, Delia held a Trumpesque press conference to say he’ll be back to work in the morning both as PN leader and as Opposition leader.
Delia should have stepped down before his MPs voted him out. If he had, then the country could have spent the evening discussing the Auditor General’s report about the scandalous Vitals healthcare deal rather than Delia and his petulance.
If Delia had any respect for the PN or its battle against corruption in government, he would remove himself immediately so as not to give government an easy deflection every time. Just think of how easy it was for Keith Schembri to deflect attention onto PN and Delia when testifying in court.
Instead, Delia chooses to waste his party’s and the country’s time to insist on staying in charge. What is it with Maltese politicians and their pathetic clinginess?
Delia’s argumentation is weaker than ever.
He says nothing will stop him from his battle against corruption. But he has become the country’s biggest obstacle to properly tackling this problem.
He says only paid-up party members can remove him. But he does not call a leadership race to prove he still has their support, because he clearly does not.
He says the President has no right to remove him as Opposition leader. But in fact the President is duty-bound to act now that he knows two-thirds of the Opposition do not recognise Delia as their leader.
His response to losing the parliamentary group’s support is simply to call an executive meeting to discuss the matter. As though there is anything left to discuss beyond the need for him to move out and make way for somebody else.
Delia’s reluctance to do the thing anybody else would have done is now not only strange or funny. It’s extremely worrying.
What we could have dismissed as conspiracy theories until yesterday, can no longer be treated as such.
His actions show that our worst fears could have been correct, just as they were correct about former Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar, Attorney General Peter Grech, inspector Silvio Valletta, former minister Konrad Mizzi and the rest of the Castille gang.
It is no longer unreasonable to suspect that Delia was planted by the Labour Party to cause as much damage as possible to the PN.
It is no longer unreasonable to believe that he has a secret contract to honour by holding onto his seat for as long as possible.
It is no longer unreasonable to suspect that he is holding onto his position to protect himself from being arrested over the bribe he allegedly received from murder suspect Yorgen Fenech.
Delia’s behaviour is highly suspicious. He is clearly not acting in good faith. There is something behind his insistence to stay on and it’s not just unbelievable lack of self-awareness or the need to continue squatting at Dar Centrali.
As if his surreal actions were not enough, yesterday Delia did another very questionable move. He filed a police report to investigate how his Whatsapp messages with Yorgen Fenech were leaked to The Sunday Times.
Besides being a complete waste of time because The Sunday Times has a sacrosanct right to protect its sources, this move once again shows Delia’s outright dishonesty.
He originally claimed the Whatsapp messages were fabricated. Now he is asking the police to find out who leaked them, indicating that they are in fact real.
The worst part is that when we asked him to show us his phone’s Whatsapp chats to see who is telling the truth, he claimed Fenech was not even listed as a contact because the chats were deleted.
So the man who is trying to prove to us that he did not accept a bribe from Fenech and that The Sunday Times fabricated the Whatsapp conversations, now admits to having deleted his chats. Not suspicious at all.
Delia is an embarrassment to the Nationalist Party and he must go immediately.
Up until yesterday, we could have blamed his parliamentary group for failing to get rid of him. But they have done what they could.
Today it is Delia alone who is responsible for this situation.
The President has a Constitutional duty to act and remove him as Opposition leader immediately.
And if the Nationalist Party has any self-respect left, all sections of the party should strike in protest and not do any more work until Delia is gone.
This has gone on for way too long.