Frustration is mounting within Nationalist Party ranks after the January 31 deadline to convene the general council and decide on Louis Galea’s promised radical reforms was missed.
Launched last July by Adrian Delia at the height of his leadership crisis, the reform was based on a wide-ranging consultation process meant to come up with a set of recommendations on how to shake up the party structures to make it electable.
The move was the result of the historic drubbing the party suffered in May’s European and council elections, following which Dr Delia faced a vote of confidence which he had won by 68 per cent.
The timeframes of the reform were established in a motion which was unanimously approved in an extraordinary general council meeting on December 13.
Party insiders said that despite Dr Galea’s pressure to meet this deadline, no date had been set for the general council, the party’s highest organ.
Party sources said that the only forum which had debated Dr Galea’s proposals was the parliamentary group.
Asked on the state of play during a news conference, Dr Delia insisted the reform was originally intended to take a year and be finalised by June. Nonetheless, he promised that the new deadline has been set for the end of next March.
The Nationalist Party must reinvent itself
The sense of exasperation fuelled by the party’s lack of urgency to take action was palpable in an opinion piece published in today’s The Sunday Times of Malta.
The former PN candidate was one of the councillors calling for change following last May’s debacle, even though he had voted and endorsed Dr Delia in the 2017 leadership race, particularly his ‘new way’ slogan.
“By procrastinating, the Nationalist Party is only making itself irrelevant. Change is a must; the Nationalist Party must reinvent itself. The Nationalist Party needs to seriously think about its competitive space and devise a strategy that will enable it to regain the lost ground. What are we waiting for?” he asked.
Under the motion submitted by general secretary Clyde Puli during last December’s general council, Dr Galea’s draft amendments to the party’s statute had to be debated in the parliamentary group, executive committee and administrative council.
The proposals had to be debated in five general council assemblies representing the 13 electoral districts, and finally, at plenary level. In view of these changes, the term of the party officials which expired at the end of last year was extended to March 31 to have the new structures in place before appointing the new officials.
Contrary to the norm, this extraordinary general council had not been concluded, but “adjourned” to January in the wake of the fact that the motion said explicitly that a final decision on the reforms had to be taken by not later than the end of last month.