At the end of what must have been one of the longest ever parliamentary group meetings, Nationalist Party MPs were adamant in saying that responsibility must be shouldered.
Whether this means the resignation of leader Adrian Delia on his own, that of him with others or that of just the secretary general, Clyde Puli, the MPs left it for the leadership team to decide.
MPs who spoke with The Malta Independent said that Delia was given a few days to think of his options before taking a decision. But other MPs said that no ultimatum was given, and this contradiction also exposes that matters are not clear enough within the parliamentary group.
At the end of the meeting Delia informed the group that another meeting will be called in the coming days.
The meeting which started at 6pm on Tuesday ended just before 2am Wednesday with Delia taking in criticism for most of the time as only two MPs spoke in his favour – Carm Mifsud Bonnici and Edwin Vassallo.
MPs made it clear that the party cannot continue to work in “business as usual” mode after the PN suffered its worst ever electoral defeats in the European Parliament and local council elections held in May.
Showing leadership does not necessarily mean resign, but acknowledging one’s mistakes and making an attempt to change direction are ways which would go some way in trying to take the party forward. Other MPs were more direct in their speeches and see no way out other than the resignation of Delia and his team, or that of the secretary general.
Questions were raised on whether Delia was electable and whether the party was, in its current state, electable. For many years the PN was a party that embraced political diversity but the way things stand, it was pointed out during the meeting, fewer people are identifying themselves with the leader and the leadership.
MPs also complained that they were not involved at all in the election campaign and that they got to know what the party was thinking and proposing from the media.
Delia has said that he will not resign after the May elections and is insisting that the party members elected him to lead them to the next general election, slated for 2022.