Eddie Fenech Adami has revealed how he faced the prospect of being removed as leader of the Nationalist Party after the 1996 election defeat as Louis Galea stoked the flames of change.

The revelation is found in Dr Fenech Adami’s autobiography Eddie: My Journey, published by Allied Publications, which was launched yesterday.

The PN had just lost the election by 7,000 votes to the Labour Party, led by Alfred Sant after having won the 1992 election with a 13,000-vote margin. 

Dr Fenech Adami says he assumed “full responsibility” for the defeat, and his initial reaction was to step down. Several friends urged him to reconsider, not least the late Fr Peter Serracino Inglott, and after receiving an overwhelming vote of confidence at the general council, he stayed on.

Some weeks later, he learnt that some people within the party, “principally Louis Galea”, were talking about a need for change.

He says there was nothing wrong with that and admits that, if a movement within the party wanted a new leader, he was prepared to play ball.

“But I did not want things to be done behind my back. I took the bull by the horns and confronted Louis, spelling out my position. I made it clear I would even back a successor, though at that point the party was itself in doubt as to who that could be.”

However the political scenario started to alter very quickly and, almost immediately, people were saying this was no time for the party to make a change.

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