Backers of Adrian Delia have launched a counter-petition seeking to prevent the Nationalist Party leader from facing a vote of confidence in the party’s highest organ, the general council.
Citing various provisions in the party’s statute, the pro-Delia supporters are insisting that the general council may not make decisions regarding the election of the party’s leader and two deputies. They argue that the statute only allows the leadership to be contested within three months of a general election.
“The leader was chosen by the party members and nobody has the right to change that decision. This is not allowed by the statute and would not respect the members’ will, democracy and the rule of law,” the counter-petition says.
The petition calls on general council president Kristy Debono to reject a request for a no-confidence motion, which is expected to be presented in the coming hours.
PN critics of Dr Delia began circulating a petition over the weekend calling for the leader to be subjected to a confidence vote within the general council.
Their calls are based on a separate statute provision, which states that the general council can “decide on any proposal put forward by no fewer than 150 members”.
The disagreement, which stems from the fact that the PN has no clear provisions on how to unseat a leader, further adds to the state of confusion within the PN.
Apart from asking the general council president to disqualify the no-confidence motion, the pro-Delia faction is saying that responsibility for last month’s double electoral drubbing should be shouldered “collectively”.
While acknowledging that a split party stands no chance of winning an election, they accuse “certain MPs” of putting spokes in the leadership’s wheels since day one of Dr Delia’s election as leader and of not accepting the democratic will of party members.
These MPs, the pro-Delia faction believes, has leaked parliamentary group proceedings to the media and rushed to take certain positions which at times conflicted the party’s official line.
The counter-petition states that despite Dr Delia offering a hand of friendship, these MPs have persisted in their attempt to destroy the party and foment unrest.
Furthermore, the counter petition points fingers at “pseudo-bloggers and pseudo-NGOs”, accused of running a systematic campaign against Dr Delia, which ultimately led to the electoral setbacks.
“The same people who were behind the 2013 electoral thrashing and who were sidelined by party members in 2017, are the hidden hand behind these manoeuvres,” they said.
“Dr Delia was elected on the pledge to bring about change, and nobody has the right stand in the way for this to happen,” the counter-petition reads.
In view of this the pro-Delia faction is calling for “all necessary measures” against all MPs and party officials who do not toe the party line and refuse to work with Dr Delia, to prevent them “from causing further harm”. The conduct of this group is putting the party’s future in jeopardy, they warned.
They are also for an effort to reach out to those who had abandoned the party as a result of the attitude of those “who wanted to remain in control of the party at all costs”.
Moreover, they are calling for the necessary changes so that the party becomes a winning one. This is not a case of business-as-usual, the counter petition says.
Read a copy of the petition in the pdf below