Proposed Opposition leader Therese Comodini Cachia said Sunday’s polls showed that in five days she managed to register the same trust rating as PN leader Adrian Delia did in three years “doing his utter best”.
“Luckily, when Eddie Fenech Adami was chosen as leader there were no polls back then,” she told Lovin Malta in an interview, when asked if she was worried about registering a trust rating of only 13 per cent.
“No, it doesn’t worry me,” she said, adding that she had already seen a lot of “enthusiasm” and “hope” among supporters.
Comodini Cachia is leading a majority group of Nationalist MPs who want Delia out.
Asked if she would set a deadline, as PN leader, for her to improve the PN’s numbers in polls, she said: “My friends will tell you that I would always know when my time is up.”
Comodini Cachia said she first lost faith in Delia when he called her to a meeting about the Shadow Cabinet and admitted he did not know what her talents were.
“At that moment, I said he has all the good intentions in the world, but you don’t call one of your MPs without knowing what that person can do,” she said.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was last February when after a “heart-rending” discussion in the parliamentary group, Delia asked MPs to give him two days to reconsider his position, only to tell the press immediately after the meeting that he will be staying on.
Comodini Cachia described Delia as somebody who uses the tone of his voice and the aggression in his voice to, “he thinks”, convince people.
“I’m not like that. I’m also someone who needs to listen first and then comment,” she said, when asked to point out the differences between her and Delia.
Comodini Cachia did not say outright that she would contest if PN held a leadership race.
“I will assure you I will do whatever is in the best interest of the Partit Nazzjonalista and Malta. That is the main assurance that I can give you.”
Nor did she say whether she thinks she would win a contest against Delia.
“I do not have crystal balls. What I can say is that what I am seeing now, and what I’m working on now is unity. And people want unity.”
She said she did not want anybody to leave the party and said she would work to keep Delia and his associates within the party, rather than excluding them.
“Adrian Delia is someone who comes across as a very good orator… This is not just about Adrian Delia. We cannot afford in this party to lose one person. On the contrary we need to get everyone we lost back.”
Asked what role she would give Delia, she said: “I think that would be up to a good heart to heart discussion with Adrian Delia and with everyone else who can make that discussion to see what is the best interest of the party.”
When asked if she would agree to meet Delia and choose a leader they can both support, she said she would love to sit down with the PN leader but indicated that he would not budge from his seat, given that he has not done so yet.
Describing her party as a social-democratic party (rather than Christian-democratic), Comodini Cachia said she did not label herself conservative or liberal but believed the PN was built on the idea of “welcoming everyone”.
She said female representation was important because half the population was female, so politics requires this perspective.
Comodini Cachia reiterated that she was not in favour of abortion, an issue which she said was a red herring.
Asked if there were any justifiable grounds for a woman to terminate a pregnancy, she said:
“I think currently that question is answered in the legislation, but that does not mean that that question can always remain like that. Or that that question is going to change. I want to be very, very clear. This is my personal position. The party, and I am a member of that party, also has a very clear position.”