Both Adrian Delia and Joe Giglio said they will not contest the upcoming Nationalist Party leadership election.

The former PN leader and the acclaimed criminal lawyer were elected with a mighty first count vote, and word among several PN supporters had it that they might be eyeing the party's leadership, following Saturday's third record defeat in a row.

The PN statute forces the party leader to step down after losing a general election, to make way for a democratic election which would give party members the chance to confirm the leader or elect a new one.

In a video message in which he conceded the election to Labour on Sunday afternoon, PN leader Bernard Grech vowed to keep offering his service to the party, making clear his intentions to run for re-election.

So far nobody has come forward to challenge him.

When contacted by Times of Malta on Monday, both Delia and Giglio shot down the possibility of a leadership bid.

Delia got elected from both the 7th and 8th districts, securing a total of 4,632 first count votes. Giglio was also elected from both the 9th and 10th districts, securing a total of 9,164 first count votes.

Giglio got the most PN votes in both districts and secured more than double the votes deputy leader Robert Arrigo got in the 9th district. Delia won the most PN votes in the 7th district and came in a close second to Beppe Fenech Adami in the 8th district.

'A soul-searching journey'

Giglio said he feels overwhelmed with the support he received from the electorate and insisted the party must 'appreciate' this result and take a soul-searching journey.

He also noted how the PN electorate might be sending out a message to the party by strongly voting in new faces.

Delia also called for reflection. He said that with last Friday being a day of reflection for the electorate, Monday (today) should be a day of reflection for politicians.

'People have screamed'

"People have not just spoken, but they have screamed, and those thousands who stayed home are trying to say something as well," he wrote on Facebook.

"Today should be a day of reflection for us politicians, to discern the reasons  why people voted that way."

He went on to thank those who voted for him and promised he would keep listening to them and to be their voice.

No challenger so far

As the dust settles on the new cabinet and parliamentary groups later this week, all eyes will turn to the currently-quiet PN headquarters, where Bernard Grech will probably be calling on supporters to allow him to continue working in pursuit of a victory in five years' time.

He could run unopposed, of course, and so far there is no clear challenger in sight, but it is far too early to tell.

'Please help us Roberta'

Meanwhile, on Sunday afternoon Arrigo took to Twitter, urging 'Please help us Roberta', presumably pleading to Roberta Metsola for her succour in a dark time, during which she may very well have been the party's only significant success.

Metsola was elected President of the European Parliament last January and her term will not come to an end before May 2024.

PN deputy leader Robert Arrigo took to Twitter saying 'Please help us Roberta', presumably pleading to Roberta Metsola for her succour in a dark time.PN deputy leader Robert Arrigo took to Twitter saying 'Please help us Roberta', presumably pleading to Roberta Metsola for her succour in a dark time.

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