These are trying times for the Nationalist Party but I’m confident that we shall emerge stronger, together.

The party’s executive council unanimously approved my proposal to appoint Louis Galea to lead a reform process of the party. As PN leader, I gave Dr Galea a free rein to meet and discuss within and beyond the party.

I asked Dr Galea to leave no stone unturned in our quest to reform the party and make it relevant to today’s society.

It’s a tall order, and we all know that. It’s an uphill, tough challenge but I’m confident there is no challenge that we shall not overcome, together. There is, I’m confident, goodwill across the board.

When I was elected PN leader I promised a new way of doing politics. I knew that it would not be a walk through the park. I was aware, and still am, of the mammoth task at hand. The Nationalist Party lost successive general, local and European elections heavily. The general feeling, when I took the helm of the party, was that beating Labour at the polls had become an impossible task.

Admittedly, following the latest round of elections, this feeling persists. But I am determined, now more than ever, to change that. Dr Galea is determined to help me reform the party and we agreed that his role should be autonomous and free from any interference from the party leadership. We are ready to do whatever is necessary to reform the party and make it electable again. However, this cannot be done without us coming together.

I joined the PN at one of the worst points in its history. I did not lose heart then. I shall not lose heart now

Dissent is healthy, when done constructively. Ultimately, all involved must pull at the same rope. That time is now.

On July 27, I am convening the General Council to discuss and vote on a motion filed by party activists. My name shall be on the ballot sheet. I insisted that it should be so. I have no problem facing party councillors. I have no problem to stand up and be counted. For this is not about me, but about the party – which I love and for which I’m giving, literally, my all.

When I contested the leadership election I walked into a party badly bruised from successive election defeats, and with a very difficult financial situation.

I did not walk away then; I shall not walk away now. But first, I want to put our house in order.

There are difficult decisions which we need to take. Labour is not invincible, but first we must regain our credibility. We must stand for something – and that something is clear in my mind: a modern party ready to be, once again, a game changer in today’s and tomorrow’s Malta. We must articulate a vision for tomorrow’s Malta. All hands on deck now. This is an exciting period for the Nationalist Party. Reforms can, and at times, must be painful. Personal egos are not part of the formula, if we are to succeed. This is a time for goodwill to prevail. The latest PN executive committee meeting paved the way for this to happen – the future is bright, if we work together.

In a recent interview, Dr Galea said that, under the current circumstances, the PN is not electable. I agree. However, we can and we shall become electable again if goodwill prevails. I want widespread reforms and changes within the party and its structures.

I want to reach out to the thousands of traditional PN supporters who, along the years, felt the party no longer lived up to their expectations and deserted us in droves.

They must feel comfortable with the party again. They must believe, once again, that the Nationalist Party is the best agent for change and prosperity. But for that to happen, we must reach out and reform.At the last elections, thousands of people chose not to vote.

We must inquire why these people had opted not take part in the democratic process. We are not going to abandon the journey that the party has embarked on. We must meet for social partners, more people and civil society. We must understand their needs and how to represent them.

Together we shall overcome. The road is long, but we have to go through it, and we must do so together.

Adrian Delia is Leader of the Opposition.

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