Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia lost a vote of no confidence during a Parliamentary group meeting held on Tuesday.
30 PN MPs took a secret vote of no confidence in Adrian Delia; 19 voted against Adrian Delia and 11 voted in favour.
The no confidence motion was proposed by MP Chris Said and seconded by Therese Comodini Cachia.
PN MPs called for an urgent parliamentary meeting after it was reported that Delia kept in touch with Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect Yorgen Fenech via WhatsApp last year, after it became public knowledge that Fenech owned secret Dubai company 17 Black, which leaked emails have linked to offshore structures set up by Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri.
Many believed the vote would also bring about a premature end to an almost three-year turbulent term as PN leader, but at a news conference later, Delia said he had no plans to relinquish his post. “The President cannot remove me as leader of the opposition,” he said defiantly.
Delia said that while he respected the decision of the MPs, he insisted that he would continue serving as PN leader as voted by the party members.
“Tomorrow will be a normal working day and I will shop up for work as both the Opposition and party leader,” he said at the press conference.
Delia said until the MPs who forced the vote took the matter to the President, he remained Opposition leader. “How can we ask people to vote for us and respect us when internally, the few ignore the majority vote of members who elected me leader with a mandate until the next election,” Delia said, adding he was taking the matter to the PN executive.
He promised that change within the PN will continue and more new faces will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
The vote was taken after more than five hours into the heated meeting.
MPs were greeted by jeers and foul language by Delia supporters gathered outside the headquarters. “Traitors, you will not get our vote,” the people shouted. One paid up member also threw his party membership card to the ground, insisting the “mercenaries” will not get his vote.
Newsbook.com.mt / Malta Independent / Times / MaltaToday / Partit Nazzjonalista