Adrian Delia has welcomed President George Vella’s decision to re-confirm him as the leader of the opposition and said the decision should be respected by everyone who believes in the rule of law and the constitution.
In a statement on Monday afternoon, the President said that after meeting the opposition parliamentary group, he had established that Delia no longer enjoyed their support.
However he said that Delia could not be removed as leader of the opposition because the role should be held by the leader of the largest party in opposition to the government, which is the Nationalist Party.
In a statement ahead of his address, the PN said it welcomed the decision and appealed to those who "genuinely love their country" to work together to scrutinise the government.
“This decision has given me a greater sense of humility, a feeling that I have had for the past few days, ever since a number of MPs went to the President and asked for my removal as Leader of the Opposition,” Delia said.
“I remained quiet not because I had nothing to say but because my role as Leader of the Opposition and Nationalist Party leader calls for caution and respect for all that the decisions the President had to make according to what our Constitution stipulates.”
Delia said he would continue to devote all of his energy in service to Malta and Gozo and the members of the Nationalist Party who had elected him in a democratic process.
The PN leader said the party had always fought for true democracy and for the workers and that that duty had to be amplified in the face of a government who had been “taken hostage by criminals”.
He said that scandals like Electrogas and Vitals had clearly happened with the blessing of a corrupt Labour government and that Prime Minister Robert Abela’s hands were tied in making decisions for the benefit of the country.
Addressing the schism in the Nationalist Party, Delia said that there were no winners in this situation, people had suffered, and it was time to mend the split once and for all.
“We have to look toward the future with conviction and understand that things will not just improve by themselves, but we have to work for them,” Delia said.
“We have to work together, not pretend to work together, but do it for real and learn to put the interests of the country above our own.”
Delia said the PN would not stop working to deliver an alternative the Labour government and convince people that the party can succeed where the government is failing.
“I will never give up. I cannot. I cannot abdicate my responsibilities when the stakes are so high,” he said.