The Nationalist Party has rejected claims made by the people behind an anti-Delia petition, insisting the the general council and vote of confidence were being handled in a just and transparent manner.
The party was reacting after the group expressed its concern at the possibility that the vote to be taken at the general council is “unacceptable” and goes against the fundamental principles of the party.
In a letter to the president of the PN’s executive committee Alex Perici Calascione, the group lamented what it described as an “unjust” way in which the vote will be taken.
The group, made up of Ivan Bartolo (not the MP), Mark Anthony Sammut, Emma Portelli Bonnici, Martin Musumeci and Emvin Bartolo, referred to the meeting it had with the Electoral Commission on Tuesday.
It said that from the meeting it resulted that what was discussed at executive meeting level on 4 July is not being reflected in the plans for the 27 July general council.
The group said that “in spite of the promise that the council would be required to vote on a question that was made in the original request made by councillors on 25 June, that is whether there is an agreement that Adrian Delia as PN leader takes political responsibility following the results of the May elections and resign, this is being changed completely in spite of Delia’s own insistence at the executive committee meeting.”
The original request, signed by more than 150 councillors, was followed by another in which more than 5,000 councillors and members expressed their loyalty to Delia.
It is unacceptable, the group said in its letter, that the executive committee is misled in this way and this confirms the group’s concern on the way the party is being led.
It is also worrying, it added, that the party secretary general is insisting that all forms of communications with the councillors must be made only by the Electoral Commission or through the party, and that the group does not have access to know who the councillors are.
It is clear that the list of councillors eligible to vote will be the list of councillors as at 4 July, and no as at 25 June when the original request was made, the group said, adding that changes were made in between the two dates.
The group asked the president of the executive committee to convene a meeting to discuss the above issues.
The letter was also copied to secretary general Clyde Puli and the president of the Electoral Commission Francis Zammit Dimech.
But in a statement in the evening, the Nationaist Party said that the rules to be followed in the General Council are established by the party statute and by what was decided in the last executive committee meeting.
It said the process would be just and transparent and this would be assured by the recently established electoral commission, which is chaired by an independent chairperson who was approved by the executive and by members behind both petitions.
This undoubtedly added a sense of transparency and accountability, the party said. As such, the insinuations and distortion of facts are being rejected.
During the executive meeting there was agreement on the proposal by Adrian Delia to call a general council under a clause that permits this. Delia had done this even to remove doubts that had been raised about the validity of a number of signatures in the first petition, which asked whether he should remain at the helm of the party. Adrian Delia himself had confirmed the question that should be asked to PN councillors.
The PN also said that the list of councillors had been ‘frozen’ when the general council was called. No changes or additions had been accepted since. As permitted by the statute, the sectional committees had chosen their representatives freely.
Once the general council was called, all lists and verification obligations had been handed over to the electoral commission and no party official has the right to make any changes, the PN said.