Now that the election fever has subsided it may be the appropriate time for reflection. Believe me, there are several issues to reflect upon.

Adrian Delia obviously has to carry a postmortem on the election landslide defeat taking in consideration the 42,000 gap and not the 51,000 gap, which despite modern media and updating of data, was quite embarrassing for PBS and Super One to misguide the voters.

Delia needs to do belatedly another postmortem as this should have been done earlier, exactly when he was elected according to all party rules as a leader of the Opposition.

Yes, I agree that the way is forward but I have to point out that it may be appropriate to look back and that is where the backstabbers are. They have been there from the very start and now they are exploiting the opportunity to call a council meeting to remove Delia.

Who they have in mind is not a surprise nor a revelation as these are the same group who qualify better as a gang who want to take the party back to those years exactly after the electoral defeat of 2013 when Lawrence Gonzi was at that time the party leader?

These are the persons who carry quite some heavy political baggage and who from the very start were against the party’s amendment that a leader should be elected democratically by the members of the party.

During their time the party was ransacked of its assets even the printing press and is now heavily indebted struggling to cover its every day running costs. Where have all the assets gone? Has anyone, willing to be called a loyal and responsible party follower or leader, the courage to call for a council meeting to investigate how the party ended up in such a mess?

Delia, despite the terrible financial situation the party was in, ventured to challenge the mentality of these persons and embarked on stabilising the party towards the road to victory again.

The way forward is that the party should clear the dead wood and make way for new faces

But the plans of this gang were different - they shunned and ignored party ethics and forgetting their sense of pride and above all loyalty remained holed in their place for the simple reason that when the time comes they rock the boat to the extent it will topple over and they almost succeeded.

What happened during these last six years is history, but the party is still trying to come to terms with the consequences. I, the party followers, and Delia know who these persons are and it is about time Delia calls them to stand up and be counted.

If they are disregarding party policies then they should speak up, they have all the means to do so but to undermine the election process and issue a block vote to support those who are anti-Delia and boast of this achievement on the social media is really more than any loyal party follower would expect.

Jumping on to the party bandwagon to exploit PN voters and at the same time not acknowledging its leader borders on hypocritical tactics. The vague admissions, which we have become accustomed to by the general secretary, that the party has taken the voters’ message is now being repeated time and again. The message the voters gave reflected on the party which is not functioning as a whole and this is gaining momentum not subsiding.

Delia has to be judged on his performance since when he became leader and as he rightly stated he should remain there until the next election according to his mandate. His visits to different localities proved that he knows where the pulse of his followers beats even more after the latest heavy electoral defeat with humility, he courageously proceeded to Naxxar counting hall to shake hands and hug the volunteers who offered their unlimited support to the party.

Did any of his predecessors do this?

Now we have persons from all sections in the party having their say. Lawrence Zammit who was part of Eddie Fenech Adami kitchen cabinet, noted a regression in terms of first-count votes. May I humbly ask him where he was during Gonzi and Simon Busuttil’s times when the party ended up debt ridden and so badly organised? 

He should be aware of what has been going on in different factions of the party. The old gang, and everyone know who the ring leader is, should now retreat and maybe being honoured with the privilege of inclusion on the right side of the party’s history.

We may recall the loud cries that arose after Busuttil’s defeat and the party members petitioned to change the party’s election process, which was eventually acceded to and resulted in having Delia as leader.

So, do these same members want to retreat to older times or do they want another leader - in that case who is he or she?

The way forward is that the party should clear the dead wood and make way for new faces who with energy and enthusiasm are prepared to take the party forward without having to carry the burden of justifying their actions when they were in previous administrations.

A Labour Party official advised on social media that criticism should be addressed towards the PN not Delia as according to him as long as Delia is there the PN does not stand a chance of gaining ground. Of course, he is fully aware that the efforts and determination of Delia are being undermined by a gang of his supposed trusted and loyal members.

I really wish that Delia would tackle the issue straight on and call for an extraordinary meeting where consensus and reconciliation should be the order of the day. If on the other hand this cannot be worked out the alternatives are not encouraging and promising. The crack right through the centre of the party structure is getting wider and this needs to be addressed with good will by all sides concerned at the earliest before it is too late.

Emmanuel Galea is an analytical thinker.

This is a Times of Malta print opinion piece

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