Nationalist leader Adrian Delia fired a strong missive against fellow MP Jason Azzopardi, saying he will be “ignoring him”, hours after a stormy executive meeting which saw the resignation of its president and the co-option of Jean Pierre Debono to parliament.
Dr Azzopardi took to social media hours after PN executive committee head Mark Anthony Sammut resigned from the role, saying he felt the administration needed to carry responsibility.
The MP said on Facebook “those who had nothing to do with the political strategy resigned while those who strategised could not be bothered”.
Asked about the comments, Dr Delia said: “I am going to ignore Jason Azzopardi – this is not the first time he has done this,” he said. “This does not help the party. Dr Azzopardi should also carry political responsibility and see and explain to people whether his attitude in public is helping the party,” he added.
The PN leader did not elaborate on what this meant in concrete terms, however, he said he would not be asking Dr Azzopardi to resign.
“You do not ask people to resign over a comment unless it breaches certain limitations,” he said. “But I will not waste any more time on him,” he quickly added.
Dr Delia was speaking to journalists hours after a meeting at the PN general headquarters, where a vote was taken to fill a vacated Parliamentary post by David Stellini.
Both former MP Jean Pierre Debono, who had given up his seat for Dr Delia’s co-option, and Gozitan councillor Kevin Cutajar, were interested in the post.
The decision on Saturday was for the cooption of Mr Debono, who obtained 42 votes against Dr Cutajar’s 40.
Asked about the votes, Dr Delia said talk of clashes and faction was just an interpretation.
“There was an argument made about representing Gozo and another arguments were made about the lack of representation on the seventh district,” he said.
“The executive discussed it and took a vote. This does not mean that I had any factions,” he added.
Nationalist Party heavyweights led the charge on Saturday to send a message to the party administration that it is not business as usual.
Gozitan MP Chris Said, who had contested the party leadership, took to Facebook to express the Gozitans’ “disgust” at the decision. He said he was considering the next step.
Asked about Mr Sammut’s resignation, Dr Delia said he personally called for a vote of confidence to be taken in him, but Mr Sammut had already taken his final decision.
Dr Delia continued to dismiss calls for a vote of confidence following last weekend’s electoral loss, saying he would carry his political responsibility by soldiering on.
People are sending a clear message, saying that they do not want the Nationalist party in government but they want it in Opposition. It needs to change before it can become an alternative government, he said.
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