Nationalist Party MPs summoned by President George Vella amid a leadership crisis have been told the meeting is cancelled in a day of chaos for the Opposition party.
It comes after the majority of PN MPs called on Adrian Delia to consider his position and the man charged with reforming the party has already called on a new leadership team to be installed.
In the latest event during a day of drama, President Vella took the unprecedented step of summoning MPs to San Anton Palace, Times of Malta has learnt.
However, one MP on his way to the meeting received a phone call from the Office of the President, informing him that it had been cancelled. It is not clear why.
Asked about the cancelled meeting, a spokesperson for the Office of the President said: "The president is acting according to the provisions of the constitution."
Under the Constitution, the Head of State 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.
Article 90 (4) of the Constitution says: “If in the judgement of the President, a member of the House of Representatives other than the Leader of the Opposition, has become the leader in the House of the opposition party, having the greatest numerical strength in the House or, as the case may be, the Leader of the Opposition has ceased to command the support of the largest single group of members in opposition to the government, the President shall revoke the appointment of the Leader of the Opposition.”
At the height of the political crisis which ultimately resulted in Joseph Muscat announcing his intention to resign as prime minister last year, Dr Delia had mounted immense pressure on the President to invoke a similar constitutional proviso, which applies for the head of government.
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