Nationalist MPs who have urged Opposition leader Adrian Delia to consider his position are awaiting an executive committee to be called before taking any further steps.

Times of Malta is informed that executive committee president Alex Perici Calascione will call the meeting “soon” although a date has not been set.

He is expected to convene the committee following talks with PN reform chief Louis Galea who he is meeting on Friday to discuss the way forward.

Claudette Buttigieg, one of the MPs who is calling for Dr Delia's resignation said: "We offered Adrian a way out which would not humiliate him. Now we wait for the party structures to function as they should in such circumstances. Of course Adrian still has time to do the right and honourable thing."

The majority of the Nationalist Parliamentary group members on Thursday called on Dr Delia to consider his position after a recent poll showed the PN continue losing ground against the ruling Labour Party.

The group of 17 MPs and MEPs said that the PN leader’s comments on Wednesday night, at the end of a parliamentary group meeting had been “incorrect” when he told journalists he still enjoyed their confidence.

A defiant Dr Delia has insisted he will not step down. Doing so, he said, would be a betrayal to those "who believe the party should once again be theirs.".

PN reform chief Louis Galea subsequently called on the party’s executive committee president Alex Perici Calascione to choose a "new leadership team" within the shortest time possible.

What happens next?

On Friday morning, a number of the 17 MPs told Times of Malta they were now waiting for the meeting to be called before taking any further steps. 

The PN, they said, had structures that they believed functioned well and so the group would be giving some time for these to operate before taking the next step. This, they said, was why they had so far refrained from taking the issue to the President, despite having the numbers to back their position. 

Under the Constitution, the Head of State may remove the leader of the Opposition if whoever occupies this role no longer commands the support of the majority of the Opposition MPs.

The outcomes of the PN's executive meeting could vary, especially since details on such procedures are not outlined in the party’s statute.

While a vote of no confidence in Dr Delia could be one of the options put forward, the executive committee could also decide to outline a series of measures that needed to be taken.

Who are the disgruntled 17?

In the wake of Dr Delia’s comments to the media on Wednesday night that he enjoyed the parliamentary group’s confidence, 17 of those who attended the meeting issued an unsigned statement. It was later endorsed by a number of MPs but a number of them have yet to comment publicly or state they backed the statement. 

It has since been confirmed by Times of Malta that those behind the statement were Jason Azzopardi, Karol Aquilina, Ryan Callus, Beppe Fenech Adami, Therese Comodini Cachia, Toni Bezzina, Mario Demarco, Claudette Buttigieg, Chris Said, Marthese Portelli, Claudio Grech, Kevin Cutajar, Stephen Spiteri and Karl Gouder.

One of Dr Delia’s closest allies, Hermann Schiavone, had also agreed change was needed, however he insisted that other people should also go. 

Both PN MEPs, Roberta Metsola and David Casa, were also among those who asked Dr Delia to leave.

 

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