Adrian Delia is battling for his political future as he contends with three major resignations and discontent among a majority of his MPs.

The Nationalist Party leader has insisted that most of the party’s parliamentary group still backs him and argued that all of the party’s MPs should respect the will of PN members, who had elected him as leader back in 2017.

On Thursday, a letter showed that 17 members of the party’s parliamentary group had endorsed an unsigned statement calling for leadership change which was released late on Wednesday.

The group includes 15 MPs and both of the party’s MEPs, who also form part of the party’s parliamentary group.

Independent MPs Marlene Farrugia and Godfrey Farrugia on Friday also said that they wanted Dr Delia to go “now”.

That means a total of 17 MPs and two MEPs have backed calls for Dr Delia to quit. There are 30 Opposition MPs in parliament, including Dr Delia himself.

But while MPs such as Jason Azzopardi and Therese Comodini Cachia have publicly declared that they want Dr Delia out, most of the PN MPs who endorsed the unsigned statement have yet to publicly declare their position.

According to the Constitution, the Opposition Leader’s post must be revoked by the president when he “has ceased to command the support of the largest single group of members in opposition to the government”.

President Vella summoned Nationalist Party MPs to his office on Thursday but cancelled the meeting before it took place. On Friday, he told journalists that he could only act when faced with “concrete proof” that the Opposition leader no longer had the majority of his group’s backing.

Article 90 (4) of the Constitution.Article 90 (4) of the Constitution.

The PN parliamentary group members who endorsed the unsigned statement:

Karol Aquilina
Jason Azzopardi
Toni Bezzina
Claudette Buttigieg
Ryan Callus
David Casa
Therese Comodini Cachia
Kevin Cutajar
Mario de Marco
Beppe Fenech Adami
Claudio Grech
Karl Gouder
Roberta Metsola
Marthese Portelli
Chris Said
Hermann Schiavone*
Stephen Spiteri

*Mr Schiavone, who is one of Dr Delia’s closest allies, agreed change was needed but insisted that other people should also go.

Which PN MPs did not endorse the statement?

David Agius
Robert Arrigo
Frederick Azzopardi
Ivan Bartolo
Simon Busuttil*
Robert Cutajar
Kristy Debono
Maria Deguara
Mario Galea
Carm Mifsud Bonnici
Clyde Puli
Edwin Vassallo

*Dr Busuttil has taken up a new job in Brussels and will be vacating his parliamentary seat. 

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