Yorgen Fenech’s request for pardon has split the PN – Simon Mercieca

The no confidence vote in Adrian Delia by Nationalist MPs has created a new scenario with political analysts saying that this is a completely new situation in the political history of Malta.

During the programme Ras imb’ Ras on TVM, Dr Mario Thomas Vassallo said that Dr Delia’s position as Opposition Leader is no longer tenable. “I imagine that it is not the MPs who should go to the President, but that the President should call on the MPs to choose someone instead of Delia to lead the Opposition, not the party,” said Dr Vassallo.

However,  Dr Simon Mercieca does not agree because he believes the President should make the first step once he has received something in writing from the Members of Parliament. “We do not know what happened and how the vote was taken. If the President calls for the MPS based just on heresay,  he would be making a political and institutional mistake.”

The two speakers agreed that Dr Delia enjoyed the trust of the tesserati (card-carrying members) and therefore, according to the statue, he had the right to remain at the helm of the party. Dr Merceica however argued that a ship cannot have two captains. He added that if the Leader of the PN is not also the Leader of the Opposition, the party will end up in an unprecedented situation.

‘The Leader of the party will be relegated to the position of any other party leader, including the small parties,” Dr Mercieca pointed out. “The strength of the leader of a big party is coming from the institutional rule which the Constitution bestows on him as the Leader of the Opposition.”

Dr Vassallo said that the PN is at a crossroads,  but the greatest problem which has led to this crisis was not caused by Yorgen Fenech, but in his opinion is an ideological issue. ” The PN needs to decide whether to proceed according to its fundamental principles or that of the post-modernists who wish to change direction.”

Dr Mercieca, on the other hand, mentioned two main factors which led to this “scary situation”. “First, you had a number of MPs who wish to retain their seat in their district and created great havoc within the PN, and the second issue which has not been mentioned is the Presidential pardon being requested by Yorgen Fenech. The fighting broke out within this context of this pardon. There is a weak Leader, this issue has emerged and the PN seems to be split over this decision.”

The question remains whether the 11 MPs who voted in favour of Dr Delia will remain loyal to him as Leader of the party, or loyal to the new Opposition leader.