Following media reports that opposition leader Adrian Delia’s wife is accusing him of domestic violence in ongoing separation proceedings, Occupy Justice demanded his immediate resignation.
“Domestic violence is a massive human rights issue plaguing our society and it is therefore not a private matter but a very public one,” the activist group said.
Arguing that Malta’s leaders must be at the forefront to fight domestic violence perpetrators, Occupy Justice said “Adrian Delia is not fit for his constitutional role as Leader of the Opposition and therefore must resign now. If he doesn’t, his party must see to it that he is fired.”
In what is becoming an acrimonious separation battle, Delia’s wife, Nickie Vella De Fremeaux, accused her estranged husband of domestic violence.
In leaked court documents Vella de Fremeaux alleges that her husband had been violent and abusive towards their children, who had also “witnessed their father beating their mother”.
Democratic Party MP Marlene Farrugia and former PN candidate Johnathan Shaw also expressed similar sentiments urging Delia to step down.
Shaw, a former MEP candidate took to Facebook to call for Delia’s resignation.
“Domestic violence on women and children is a serious matter. More so, if you are in public office, as long as these allegations still stand, one has to resign. And if you don’t resign, then it’s up to the party to force a motion to make this happen. This goes beyond politics. This is about integrity, principles and morals. This is about championing women and children and sending a message to the whole nation that if you are a victim of domestic violence you can count on us and we will stand up for you. At least I will,” he said.
In a Facebook post, Farrugia said “Delia must now muster the courage to step down and retain what’s left of his dignity. His position as Leader of the Opposition was never tenable for a myriad of reasons. Now it is completely and irreversibly untenable.”
Apart from a bitter separation battle, Delia is also facing mounting criticism over his involvement in an alleged money laundering scam.
Dating back to 2004, the case revolves around a Jersey account allegedly held in Delia’s name, which was reportedly used to process the payment of rents for London properties used for prostitution.
The allegations first surfaced during the Nationalist Party’s leadership race in 2017 in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s blog, a few months before she was murdered.
In their statement, Occupy Justice said “Malta deserves better. This is our nation, this is our home, and we are the people. We expect better, we deserve better, we demand better.”