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Franco Debono won’t contest general elections

Former Nationalist MP Franco Debono has declared he will not to stand for the June general elections, after the criminal defence lawyer mooted a possible run for parliament

9 May 2017, 7:30am
Franco Debono, focusing on his profession
Franco Debono, focusing on his profession
Former Nationalist MP Franco Debono has declared he will not to stand for the June general elections, after the criminal defence lawyer mooted a possible run for parliament.

“I am focusing on my profession, but yes I am observing what is happening,” Debono, 42, said, who has previously stated on Facebook that supporters had augured seeing him consider a Labour candidature.

Debono was appointed Commissioner for Laws upon the election to power of Labour in 2013, after the MP effectively brought the Gonzi administration down when he voted against the Budget Measures Implementation Bill of December 2012. Debono had broken ranks with the PN administration, which had been elected in 2008 with just a one-seat majority.

As an MP he relentlessly criticised the Gonzi administration for its track record on justice reform, and after 2013 – where he was tasked to preside a constitutional reform commission that never picked up steam – he openly criticised the Opposition and took a stand in favour of the Muscat administration.

Debono was elected in 2008 on the fifth district, which includes his home-town of Hal Ghaxaq. His convincing vote count was substantial enough to knock out PN heavyweight and former education minister Louis Galea from the House. But soon Debono grew restless in the face of what he perceived to be a disregard for PN backbenchers by the party’s leadership, and for his proposed justice and party financing reforms.

Debono said last year he would consider standing for Labour on the fifth district. “I respect the PN but I have no intention of serving as a candidate with the PN,” he said in 2016.