Newly-elected MP Ivan Bartolo has offered to give up his parliamentary seat for Bernard Grech should he win the PN leadership race.  

Bartolo is understood to have told the aspiring PN leader that he would give up his seat to ensure Grech is automatically appointed opposition leader if he beats Adrian Delia in an internal election this summer.

The agreement was hashed out before Grech, who is not an MP, threw his hat in the ring last week, sources said. Bartolo confirmed it when contacted on Monday.  

“If there is a need I will offer it [my seat] to Bernard there is no doubt,” he said. 

An entrepreneur behind local software firm 6pm, Bartolo was only elected to the house in March, when he replaced Marthese Portelli following her sudden departure from politics.   

Though he had originally supported Delia, Bartolo had later been openly critical of the embattled leader, especially after the party’s poor performance in the 2019 European and council elections. 

Delia had also needed someone to step aside for him to enter Parliament.  When he was first elected leader in 2017, Delia had replaced seventh district MP Jean Pierre Debono in the house.

On Monday, MP Hermann Schiavone also said he was willing to give up his seat for Grech if the party asked him to do so.

“My main interest remains that of strengthening the Nationalist Party so that the country has a strong Opposition and an alternative government,” Schiavone wrote.

Schiavone had made a similar offer to Delia in 2017.

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