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[WATCH] Comodini Cachia flip-flops to resign as MEP and take up Maltese seat

MEP who chose Brussels over Malta reverses controversial decision not to take up Maltese parliamentary seat after barrage of online vitriol

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
8 June 2017, 4:28pm
In high demand for a glorious seat in Valletta: Comodini Cachia wanted to stay on as MEP despite being elected on the eighth district, and has reversed has decision to stay in Brussels
In high demand for a glorious seat in Valletta: Comodini Cachia wanted to stay on as MEP despite being elected on the eighth district, and has reversed has decision to stay in Brussels
She told voters to choose Malta, but she chose Brussels. But now she is choosing Malta yet again. Nationalist MEP Therese Comodini Cachia has declared she will resign her European parliamentary post to take up her MP’s seat, after her controversial decision to relinquish her Maltese parliamentary seat to remain in Brussels.

The decision provoked massive outrage on Facebook, as well as criticism from former PN secretary-general Paul Borg Olivier.

The human rights lawyer was elected on eighth district with 4,244 votes on the 22nd count. Originally, she said she would relinquish the seat to stay on as an MEP, claiming her mission will be “to rebuild Malta’s reputation abroad”.

Now that she is taking up her Maltese seat, it will mean no casual election will be held on the eighth district, which was likely to attract David Thake, Norman Vella, and Justin Schembri to throw in the hat in a bid for her seat.

“From the reaction of many people who believe in me and love the PN, it is clear they want me to serve in the Maltese parliament and not in the European Parliament. I appreciate their sincerity, I thank them, and I apologise for my decision,” Comodini Cachia said, after enduring a barrage of online vitriol.

“I entered politics to be of service to the people where they want me… my energies will be dedicated to the PN because it is this party that will ensure there is clean politics on which to build a strong economy.”

Comodini Cachia will see a drastic cut to her salary, currently €101,888 from the European Parliament, to the meagre €21,145 for MPs, who however retain the right to hold down a profession.

Comodini Cachia is the rapporteur of an important piece of copyright legislation that will impact on the digital lives of 500 million Europeans.

Comodini Cachia’s original decision was akin to political suicide, as a Nationalist MP who spoke on condition of anonymity told this newspaper. “She wants to stay away in the moment of need,” he said.

Comodini Cachia was elected in the European elections of 2014, but was also made shadow education minister by Simon Busuttil, despite not holding a parliamentary seat in Malta.

Her resignation from Brussels will open the road to elect former Nationalist minister and MP Francis Zammit Dimech to Brussels, when he came fourth in line from the PN candidates in the last European elections. Zammit Dimech was not elected in the 2017 elections.

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.
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