Therese Comodini Cachia has said she has no intention of splitting the Nationalist Party after dissident MPs failed in their bid to have her replace Adrian Delia as leader of the opposition.
Speaking ahead of a crunch PN Executive Meeting on Tuesday night, the MP said she wanted to unite the party, not split it.
Comodini Cachia was nominated as opposition leader after Delia lost a confidence vote among his parliamentary group last week. That vote, and Delia's subsequent decision to stay on as party and opposition leader prompted a constitutional crisis.
But while President George Vella said Comodini Cachia had the backing of the majority of opposition MPs, he said he could not remove Delia because the leader of the opposition had to be the leader of the largest party opposing government.
In comments outside parliament on Tuesday, Comodini Cachia said: "We didn't start this to split the party. We started this to strengthen the party."
She also appeared reluctant to pursue the issue through the constitutional court.
In her opinion, "the president has spoken" and he should now shoulder the responsibility for the decision, she said.
On whether there should be a leadership race, she said that is for the party structures to deliberate. The human rights lawyer was named as one of four MPs Delia said had permanently lost his trust.
And on whether she thought Delia would move to oust her and others from the party, she said she does not know what he plans to do, but if it were her she would not want anyone pushed out as the PN needs all the people it can get.
Hermann Schiavone, a one-time Delia loyalist said the party leader was his "friend" but that "this goes beyond Adrian Delia".
He urged him to reconsider his position.