It was a mistake to leave it up to members to elect the new Nationalist Party leader, according to Louis Galea, who insisted it was time for a complete revamp of a party now in tatters.

The former PN general secretary and minister who was last week appointed by embattled party leader Adrian Delia to oversee the party reform admitted it was extremely difficult for the party to win the next general election under any circumstances.

Dr Delia is facing a vote of confidence in an upcoming general council following two electoral defeats in May which left the PN facing one of its worst political crises.

Dr Galea, a stalwart who last served as PN minister in 2008, pointed to the former PN administration’s “mistake” to change the party statute to allow members to select the new leader. It was this decision which led to the election of Dr Delia, leaving the party split with factions.

“The party members need to be consulted, they could even be indicating the next potential leader, but the actual choice cannot be simply left to a massive group. It requires a sieve. Committee and councillors are in the chain of daily political decisions. Party members follow and watch but they’re not an integrated part of the process which makes politics,” he told Times Talk.

“I am not Delia’s man. I am not the other faction’s man. I am there for the country and party”

He said Dr Delia cannot become Prime Minister in the current state of the PN where distrust reigns but said he would do his utmost to bring different factions together.

“I am not Delia’s man. I am not the other faction’s man. I am there for the country and party.”

Asked if he is prepared to step in as party leader if Dr Delia resigns, he replied that the PN statute ruled out such a possibility.

Acknowledging the massive gap with the ruling Labour Party, Dr Galea said it was essential for the party to be completely “refounded” after 140 years of history.

“We need to completely rethink our policy – who we are, what we stand for,” he said, even mulling the possibility of changing the party name.

Despite his 71 years of age, Dr Galea insisted he was no political dinosaur attached to the so-called establishment.

“People believe I can project a vision which is extremely progressive with 21st century society... which can really start discussing issues which are being masked.”

Dr Galea warned dissenters against resorting to social media to air their grievances, saying former leader and Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami would never have tolerated such behaviour.