The decision taken by the Nationalist Party members to elect Bernard Grech as their leader should be respected, PN MPs who supported former leader Adrian Delia said.
The Malta Independent spoke with some of them to get their perspective on the decision taken by the party’s tesserati (paid members) last Saturday.
“The decision has to be respected. A new leader has been elected and we have to look for a way forward with him so that we get a good idea of his leading formula,” PN MP Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici said. He explained that Grech has never been an MP so they still have to see the way he handles things.
PN MP Mario Galea shared Mifsud Bonnici’s sentiment, saying that since the statute states that the leader has to be elected by tesserati, “we will have to stand by their decision and I will undoubtedly respect this decision.”
“You cannot say you are a democratic party and then bend its principles under certain circumstances,” he added, highlighting the fact that the tesserati’s participation rate in this election made it very clear that the party is still active.
Asked if they will be loyal to Grech, just like Arrigo, Mifsud Bonnici said that he will be loyal to the party without making any distinction between the leader and the party as the leader is the party.
Galea also expressed that he was always loyal to the leader of the party. “I was present when Eddie Fenech Adami, Lawrence Gonzi, Simon Busuttil and Adrian Delia where leaders and I was always loyal to them. The same applies to Bernard Grech now. I have always been outspoken about my own principles and views but my loyalty towards the party’s leader is indisputable.”
They were also asked if they think that Grech has the capacity to bring unity to the party.
Mifusd Bonnici explained that Grech has a lot of work to do and while he will not try to be an obstacle to Grech, there are a lot of wounds that need healing; “we will have to wait and see.”
Galea also believes that it would be best to give Grech some time to try before making any judgements.
“I think that if us deputies love the party more than we love our own selves; we have no other option but to show how much we appreciate the party. In order to do this, we have no alternative but to be unified – I wonder what the future would look like if this is not achieved.”
PN Whip Robert Cutajar, who has posted on his Facebook page expressing his loyalty towards the new leader, was also contacted by this newsroom and asked the same questions.
Cutajar, who said he never took sides during the campaign, explained that in last 3 years he has assumed the responsibility that comes with being the Whip of the PN’s parliamentary group where he has been obliged to see that parliamentary work continues to be effective and focused.
“Now that the tesserati have made their decision, I have already promised my unconditional assistance and support to Grech and that I will be working with him as I have worked with all previous leaders on both parliamentary and district level,” he said.
Cutajar is very much convinced that the new leader has the capacity to bring unity “but only if we all pull the same rope with him in the best interest of the party and the country. This not only applies to the parliamentary group but also to anyone who somehow forms part of the PN.”