Only 7 of 15 PN MPs deny re­port they are will­ing to de­pose Delia

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - Gabriel Schem­bri

Only seven of fif­teen Na­tion­al­ist Party MPs named in a Labour news­pa­per re­port as be­ing will­ing to vote against Adrian Delia in a vote of con­fi­dence have de­nied the al­le­ga­tions.

PL Sun­day news­pa­per Kull­hadd said 17 MPs – 15 from the PN and 2 from PD - were will­ing to de­pose Delia. The men­tioned PN MPs were: Karol Aquilina, Fred­er­ick Az­zopardi, Ja­son Az­zopardi, Ivan Bar­tolo, Si­mon Busut­til, Ryan Cal­lus, Therese Co­mo­dini Cachia, Maria Deguara, Beppe Fenech Adami, Karl Gauder, Claudio Grech, Marthese Portelli, Chris Said, David Stellini and Ed­win Vas­sallo.

Fol­low­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of this story, some of the PN MPs men­tioned in the re­port took to Face­book to dis­miss the re­port.

Ed­win Vas­sallo was quick to deny any such al­le­ga­tions and said that the Labour Party was try­ing to cre­ate spin sto­ries about the Na­tion­al­ist Party sim­ply to di­vert at­ten­tion on all the cor­rup­tion sur­round­ing the gov­ern­ment.

New MP David Stellini also de­nied be­ing one of the 15 who want to bring Delia down. He said that on the con­trary, he is work­ing to unite the party.

Chris Said, who had con­tested the lead­er­ship race against the Delia him­self, de­nied the al­le­ga­tions through a Face­book post. He dubbed the ar­ti­cle as an in­vented story.

MP Ivan Bar­tolo said that this is ‘yet an­other Su­per One lie’. He said he was loyal to Si­mon Busut­til and will be loyal to the cur­rent leader.

Claudio Grech and Ryan Cal­lus also de­nied the al­le­ga­tions and said that the re­port was a lie.

Marthese Portelli said that she would be will­ing to pro­pose a no con­fi­dence vote in ‘Joseph Mus­cat and Co.’

While these seven MPs dis­missed the story as a lie, the rest failed to deny the Kul­hadd al­le­ga­tions, at least on the so­cial me­dia, like their col­leagues had done.

Some of these MPs are very ac­tive on the so­cial me­dia, and their lack of de­nial was highly no­tice­able. How­ever some of them might have felt that the story was not even worth a re­ac­tion.

Kul­hadd also pointed out that Par­tit Demokratiku MPs God­frey and Mar­lene Far­ru­gia have both pub­licly de­clared that they do not have faith in Adrian Delia as Leader of the Op­po­si­tion.

Over the past weeks there have been sev­eral re­ports about rogue MPs who wish to de­pose Adrian Delia. It has been said that more than half of the PN par­lia­men­tary group would not sup­port Delia if a con­fi­dence vote were to be called. How­ever, de­spite all the re­ports, it seems that none of the MPs has had the courage to call for such a vote.

Delia, who be­came PN leader in Septem­ber, has been strug­gling to unite the party be­hind him, and that prob­lem is more ap­par­ent in the par­lia­men­tary group.

Spec­u­la­tions on the in­ter­nal con­flicts in the party have been go­ing on ever since he first stepped into his new of­fice.

Last month, Delia strength­ened his grip on the party’s struc­tures when 14 of his pre­ferred can­di­dates were elected to the party’s ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil and one of his clos­est MPs, Kristy De­bono, was elected Pres­i­dent of the Gen­eral Coun­cil.

Ad­dress­ing the gen­eral con­fer­ence the fol­low­ing day, an in­vig­o­rated Delia said he was ‘here to stay.’

But the ab­sence of cer­tain high pro­file MPs showed that de­spite the rhetoric, not all is fine within the PN’s ranks.

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