Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia has indicated he would not be stepping down after a day of internal onslaught and party resignations.
Resigning would mean betraying the people who wanted the Nationalist Party to return to the people, Dr Delia said during an interview on Net TV on Thursday night.
The majority of the Nationalist Parliamentary group members had earlier called on Dr Delia to consider his position after a recent poll showed the PN continue losing ground against the ruling Labour Party.
Earlier on Thursday, Dr Delia dismissed that call saying that “diversionary tactics” should not shift the Opposition’s focus away from the government.
Later in the day, PN reform chief Louis Galea called on the party’s executive committee president to choose a "new leadership team" within the shortest time possible.
'The easiest thing to do is leave'
But interviewed on Thursday evening, Dr Delia made it clear he had no intention of listening to his critics: "I have to be loyal to what I was asked to do. This is not the seat of power, this is not power. The easiest thing to do when everything is against you is to leave. I feel that if I do so I would be betraying those who believe the party should once again be theirs.”
He said that in the past two years he had tried to build bridges but for this to be done there had to be goodwill from both sides.
“My interest is that of the country. In spite of what is happening in the country we are failing to unite in the fight for democracy...
“Our attitude has to change... The real question is what we want to give politics. I am convinced that we should not turn the clock back to where we where, we have to make the change.”
He invited all the Maltese who believed the PN should strengthen for the sake of the country to work within the party without setting any conditions. The people’s will, he said, did not change with one survey.
“If we really want unity, we have to truly give a service, there is space for everyone who wants to work for the party because they want to work for the country,” Dr Delia said.
Before he decided to contest the leadership he had believed the PN had moved away from the people.
"This was not acceptable for me and I was ready to give the party back to the people. My main message was that no one was bigger than the party.”
What followed, he said, were a couple of problematic years because there were some who did not want to accept this reality.
“The party belongs to the councillors and members who believe it is is the best tool to help the country. They are those who voted for a new policy, for the party to return to the people.”
The PN, Dr Delia said, had to go through a soul-searching exercise. It was now time to decide if it was to be a party of the people or a party of the few.