MEP Roberta Metsola has sent a strong message that the Nationalist Party must press the “reset button” and look towards the future, rather than running on nostalgia.

With PN councillors set to vote today, Friday and Saturday if a leadership contest should take place, Metsola says in a Times of Malta article on Wednesday that the PN had reached a critical juncture.

She said before the PN could drive change for the entire country, it first had to be in a position to win an election.

“Only when we take the serious decisions needed can the public consider us again to be a government-in-waiting.

“I am not interested in more of the same... my view remains clear: we change or we die,” Metsola wrote.

PN leader Adrian Delia is facing the strongest challenge to his beleaguered leadership following no confidence votes by the party’s parliamentary group and executive branch.

PN has reached a critical juncture

Many fear the party faces annihilation in the next general election as its traditional support base continues to erode under Delia’s leadership.

Even prior to the last PN leadership contest in 2017, Metsola’s name featured regularly among the list of potential contenders, though she has never publicly acknowledged interest in the post.

Earlier this month, Therese Comodini Cachia was nominated by the parliamentary group to take over as opposition leader, but the bid to replace Delia was ultimately blocked by President George Vella.

Sources told Times of Malta that Comodini Cachia has started contacting MPs to see if they would be reconfirming their support for her or “going back on their word”.

Party insiders who wish to see the back of Delia said the last thing they wanted was for further splits to emerge by having Comodini Cachia, Metsola and popular PN outsider Bernard Grech all running against each other.

The sources said that if PN councillors vote for a leadership contest on Saturday, intense negotiations between the potential frontrunners to fight Delia would likely take place in a bid to unite around one candidate.

PN councillors will face a choice between either triggering a leadership election to be voted upon by all members or a reconfirmation vote in Delia’s leadership.

“At the moment there is no leadership election. The vote in the general council could go Delia’s way,” one insider said.

“We can only start seriously discussing who will run against him after that.”

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