Robert Abela (right) and his wife Lydia.
Robert Abela, the son of former Labour deputy leader and President of the Republic George Abela, is to be Labour's 'star' candidate in the sixth district, which comprises Qormi, Siggiewi and Luqa.
Abela is being fielded as part of the party's strategy to scoop up votes from heavyweight Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, who earlier last week announced she was not contesting the forthcoming general elections.
It was a week also dominated by news that Deborah Schembri, the 'apolitical' figurehead of the pro divorce movement, had accepted to run on a Labour ticket in the next general elections.
Robert Abela's wife Lydia is the executive secretary to the party's executive committee. A lawyer by profession, he leads the legal work at the Malta Environment and Planning Authority outsourced to his father's firm since 2001.
Anti-divorce campaigner and Labour MP Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said she will not contest the next general elections. Coleiro-Preca was a former secretary-general of Labour and a candidate for the party leadership in the last elections that saw Joseph Muscat elected leader.
As one of Labour’s anti-divorce MPs, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca was a supporter of the referendum. “I feel this is an issue that the people must give us MPs a mandate for us to decide according to their wishes… This is a matter of conscience, but I cannot impose it upon others without a mandate from the people. And it should be an informed decision by the people... I believe in a discussion that is well-informed, that goes beyond crusades and fanaticism, but I’ve been disappointed so far.”
Meanwhile, a petition has been going round in Qormi, urging Coleiro Preca to withdraw her decision not to contest the general elections.