Adrian Delia, a partner in a legal firm, is to submit a bid for the leadership of the Nationalist Party after feeling “a need to answer the country’s call”.

Dr Delia, who is the president of Birkirkara FC, has never occupied any role within the Nationalist Party and is the first person to publicly declare his interest in the position after the party suffered a second consecutive defeat at the polls earlier this month. In his first comments about his political aspirations, Dr Delia told this newspaper that he now felt the need to “do more”.

“I believe I can contribute positively to the party and to the country,” he said.

Describing himself as not politically involved “in the traditional sense”, Dr Delia said he had been somewhat active in his youth during the infamously tense years of the late 1980s.

“After we achieved what needed to be achieved, the country went back to everyday life, and so did I. But, today I feel there is a need for action,” he said, adding that despite resuming normality after 1987, he had always remained “emotionally involved” in local politics.

I believe I can contribute positively to the party and to the country

The position of PN leader came up on the wanted pages after Opposition leader Simon Busuttil announced his resignation, along with the rest of the party’s top brass, two weeks ago.

The party’s executive has only just finalised the timeframes and rules for the leadership race, with nominations being accepted between July 17 and 19.

In the first week of September the party’s General Council will vote on the nominations for party leader and the top two contenders will then take part in a run-off election on September 16 with paid-up party members choosing their preferred leader.

Asked if he had discussed his interest in running with the party executive, Dr Delia said he would need to take a minute to even name who sat on the executive committee.

“The short answer is, no I haven’t discussed this with the executive. I have, over the past days and weeks, been approached by a number of people who have urged me to consider running and shown their support,” he said, adding that it had not been an easy decision.

WATCH BELOW - Dr Delia interviewed on football corruption in January

A father of five, Dr Delia said he wanted to see a better country for his children.

Reflecting on the PN’s performance over the past four years, he said he wanted to see a party that was “more of a ‘Proposition’ than an Opposition” – a party that offers a positive message about where to take the country.

He is married to Nickie Vella De Fremeaux, a lawyer who specialises in family law, and is himself a partner in a legal firm.

Following in the footsteps of most of Malta’s politicians, Dr Delia was educated at St Aloysius College, before reading law. He was admitted to the bar in 1993 and is a litigation lawyer.

He was previously employed as house legal counsel at HSBC bank for several years.

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