Political veteran appointed to reform PN tells Delia to make way for ‘new leadership team’ amid resignations

The last 24 hours have stirred turmoil within the Nationalist Party with Louis Galea, who the Opposition Leader appointed to reform the PN, joining MPs asking the Party Leader to make way for “a new leadership team”.

On Thursday, Galea called on Adrian Delia to step aside so that the executive committee president would be able to choose a new leadership team. In a letter to Delia, he said that the need for a new leadership team was discussed in a meeting on 1 February with PN Deputy Leaders Robert Arrigo and David Agius, and Secretary-General Clyde Puli.

Arrigo gave notice of his resignation, and Kristy Debono also resigned from her role as President of the General Council.

Galea wrote that they had agreed in the meeting that Delia would approach people to create a leadership team that could strengthen the Party with “new blood” and work to restore the Party and its politics as a credible option for the population.

“In recent months, I have often warned both you and Clyde, face to face, through email and through WhatsApp, about the absolute urgent need to take steps in order for the Party to get out of the crisis it is in,” Galea wrote. 

Over the past two months, his push for reforms had been met with “resistance, ambivalence and foot-dragging,” Galea added.

Galea, a stalwart in the PN, was tasked by Delia with leading the Party’s reform process. He was a key player in the transformation of the PN when Eddie Fenech Adami became Leader in 1977. He also served as Education Minister for 10 years.

On Thursday, he said he had sent a request to Party President Alex Perici Calascione to convene the Executive Council in order to “take all the necessary steps to choose a new leadership team in “as short a time as possible”.

“In these circumstances, it is only a new team that can assure the Party will adopt the necessary measures and proposals to reform and renew itself,” he said.

The PN’s parliamentary group on Wednesday discussed the future of Party Leader in a five-hour meeting. It was triggered by polls on Sunday that showed Delia’s support has plummeted to an all-time low of 13.5%, while Prime Minister Robert Abela’s rating was at 62.5%.

Following the meeting, Delia told the press outside the PN Headquarters that the meeting was “constructive” and that he enjoys the confidence of the whole parliamentary group. Delia also said that he had decided to lead the PN to the coming general elections.

PN MP Jason Azzopardi took to Facebook to say he was “gobsmacked” by Delia’s remarks to the media following a meeting with MPs who had “bluntly” confronted the Leader in the meeting. Similarly, MP Therese Comodini Cachia wrote a scathing letter to Delia, accusing him of living in a “parallel reality”.

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