Opposition MPs are bracing for a reshuffle of the shadow Cabinet which is expected to leave out several dissidents but “rehabilitate” others.
Nationalist Party sources said that the matter was expected to be discussed at a meeting of the party executive on Tuesday evening and would likely be announced to the public formally on Wednesday.
Sources said Opposition leader Adrian Delia had reached out to a number of the MPs in his group known to have voted against him in a vote of confidence last week.
On Monday, PN leader Adrian Delia promised to take immediate action, drastically changing the shadow cabinet.
“I am not impulsive... I think and consider. But I have now decided. I do not have confidence in those who do not have confidence in me. I will shortly, in the coming days, be drastically changing the opposition’s shadow cabinet,” he told TVM's programme Realtà.
Delia noted that the vote against him was secret, so he preferred not to comment on certain people being mentioned as having voted against him.
However, some of them, namely David Thake, Chris Said, Therese Comodini Cachia and Claudette Buttigieg had made their vote public “and my confidence in them can never be recovered”.
On Monday, the president said he could not strip Delia from his position as opposition leader, even though he had lost the confidence of the majority of his parliamentary group.
Earlier, he criticised the MPs for not having the decency to make themselves public adding he understood that there were some among the 16 who told the president they did not have confidence in him, who had since changed their mind.
Delia said the dissenting MPs “have to shoulder their decision which shows a lack of respect to the presidency, the constitution, the party’s statute and party members... they only respect themselves.
Delia said he had been seeking unity for three years - “I reacted to every attack against me by extending the hand of friendship,” he said.
He added he would continue to fight with more determination. “I am not the monster they are saying I am. I am not the freemason they are saying I am. I did not launder money. I did not traffic drugs... Everything has been said about me. They even compared me to Hitler. These are people who supposedly respect democracy, the rule of law.”
Asked if the dissenting MPs would be kept within the PN, Delia’s reply was that they had already taken their decision.
“Their action was evidently intended to weaken their leader, their party... They should have joined me in the fight for justice, against corruption. They should have joined me in the court case against Vitals, which I will win.”
Party sources have said the PN leader is considering taking further disciplinary action against some of his internal critics.
One option, a party source said, could be putting the MPs before an internal disciplinary committee that is empowered to suspend or even exile members from the party.
The committee has not yet been set up after the PN only approved its new rules and regulations a few weeks ago.
According to the new PN statute, it is a violation of the rules to harm a fellow member or to take action which is against the party interest.
Referring to a public statement by MP David Thake on social media describing the attempt to remove him as an attempt to “free this party from the monster that is trying to control it”, Delia said such language did not damage him but the political community.
“Politics do not deserve this... I will answer Thake with my actions and my behaviour, with the actions I will take in the coming days through which everyone will have to shoulder their responsibilities, including first and foremost David Thake.”