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Dom Mintoff passes away, family agrees to national mourning, State Funeral

Former Prime Minister Dom Mintoff passes away aged 96.

Jurgen Balzan
20 August 2012, 12:00am
Update 2 | Dom Mintoff was Prime Minister of Malta three times, spanning over 16 years
MaltaToday will tomorrow issue a special edition on Dom Mintoff

A State Funeral is expected to be held for the late Prime Minister Dom Mintoff, who died this evening aged 96.

Contacted tonight, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said that he was in contact with the family soon after Dom Mintoff passed away at his residence in Tarxien.

Gonzi said that Mintoff's family had accepted his government's offer for a State Funeral, details of which are to be discussed and announced tomorrow.

The Prime Minister descbried Mintoff as a "great political personality who characterised the Maltese political, Constitutional, economical and social scenario for the past 50 years."

He added that news about the former Premier's demise brought sorrow to a nation for "a person who throughout his lifetime was a detetermining factor for the political development of this country."

Gonzi said that the nation is duty bound to remember Mintoff for his achievements, and his government stands behind a nation in sorrow.

In recent times, Dom Mintoff was admitted to hospital several times.

Dom Mintoff was born in Bormla in 1916. He graduated, as an architect and civil engineer in 1939.  He received a scholarship and pursued his studies at Hertford College, Oxford University from where he received a Masters in Science and Engineering in 1943.

Mintoff, a politician, journalist and architect served as leader of the Labour Party from 1949 to 1984. He was Prime Minister of Malta from 1955 to 1958 and from 1971 to 1984.

Mintoff was Labour's Secretary General between 1935 and 1945. He was first elected to public office in 1945 to the Government Council. In the same year, Mintoff  was elected Deputy Leader of the Party with such a wide margin that placed him in an indisputable position as the successor, if not a challenger, to the Leader Paul Boffa.

In 1947, Mintoff was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Works and Reconstruction, overseeing large post-War public projects.

Mintoff's strong position and ambition led to a split in the Labour Party. In 1949, Prime Minister Paul Boffa resigned and formed the Malta Workers Party and Mintoff refounded the Labour Party as the "Malta Labour Party" of which he assumed leadership.

The split resulted in the weakening of both parties and it was not until 1955 after remaining out of government for three consecutive legislatures, that the Labour Party was elected in office with Mintoff as Prime Minister.

In 1950's Mintoff's relations with the Catholic Church deteriorated to such an extent that it led to interdiction of the Party by the Church. The Labour Party lost the subsequent two elections in 1962 and 1966 and boycotted the Independence celebrations in 1964. The Party was returned to power in 1971 and re-elected in 1976 with a clear majority.

In 1974 Malta ditched British monarchy to become a republic - a move also supported by most Nationalist MPs. The non-partisan former British governor Sir Anthony Mamo was appointed President.

In 1979, Mintoff oversaw the closure of the British military base in Malta and declared 31 March as Freedom Day.

In 1981, Labour remained in government notwithstanding the fact that 51% of the electorate voted in favour of the PN. The victory was sanctioned due to the supremacy of seats, whichwas constitutionally legal. On 22nd December 1984, Mintoff voluntarily left office to enable his successor, Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici to take over. 

In 1998 Mintoff, who by then was a backbencher, denied Alfred Sant a majority in parliament on the Cottonera yacht marina motion, paving the way for Nationalist re-election and the re-activation of Malta's EU membership application, which he would later campaign against.

 

 

 

Jurgen Balzan joined MaltaToday in 2011, specialising in politics, foreig...
Themba Mkandla
Rest in peace Dom Mintoff, you played a major role in my life through your solidarity with liberation movements in Africa, thank u.
Carmel Caruana
MINTOFF'S FATHER WENZU WAS FROM GHASRI GOZO . In the biography of the ex President of Malta Censu Tabone who’s born in Gozo were written these exact words ,’ Tabone and Mintoff sit on opposite sides of the House for the best part of half a century the two eldest, outstanding politicians for the 20th century who have made it into the new millemium. Ironically Tabone, like Mintoff, had a father from Gozo and a mother from Cospicua. Censu’s father Kolinu hailed from Victoria Gozo, whereas Mintoff‘s father Wenzu was from the small village of Ghasri Gozo’. R.I.P. PERIT
GRACE PAVIA
Love him or loathe him, one has to admit that this person's actions always had Malta and the Maltese interests at heart, and in the centre of all his activity. One must not forget the very difficult times, and the cultural and social waste that formed the Maltese historical background then, when this highly intelligent, hard headed, courageous man carried out the social, legal and economic reforms that still serve as a base, to this day, for an independent Maltese nation. There are always victims in peace and war, and nothing is achieved without much sacrifice. However, people forget and forgive and remember the good that remains. That is human nature. Il-Perit Duminku Mintoff deserves full honours for his lifelong achievements for the benefit of Malta and the Maltese. May he rest in peace.
Vincent Cassar
Malta has lost one of the greatest politicians, thinkers and reformists of the 20th century. The memory of this man will live beyond his death...above all he was a living example of the teachings of Christ. Yes, he was controversial and created divisions...but that is why these people are great! Because they get noticed for years and years. RIP Perit...you will always be in our thoughts and our prayers.
ray zammit
Grazzi perit.
eddy privitera
F'dan il-mument ta' dieqa kbira, ma nistax ma niftakarx il-ftit inkontri li kelli ma MISSIER MALTA HIELSA . Kemm bhala prim ministru , kif ukoll meta kien telaq minn idejh dik il-kariga. Ghalkemm jien ukoll kelli xi differenzi mal-perit ta' Malta Gdida, qatt ma stajt ninsa jew nichad il-gid tremend li ghamel lil klassi tal-haddiema, kif ukoll lill-poplu kollu bil-Welfare State li waqqaf Mintoff ! L-Ghajta li se tibqa tidwi f'widnejja sa kemm immut, u li imissa tibqa tispira lill-kull politiku Malti, hi x'inhi l-opinjoni politika tieghu jew taghha, u li holoq il-perit Duminku Mintoff, hi " MALTA L-EWWEL U QABEL KOLLOX " ! U jien cert li Mintoff se jibqa DAK IL-MALTI LI GHAL TANT ELUF KBAR, JIGI L-EWWEL U QABEL KULL POLITIKU IEHOR !
MARIO XUEREB
Malta tilfet mexxej ta veru. l-aqwa mexxej li qatt kelna. Tlifna missier ta veru li kien ihobb lil fqir. Jghidu x jghidu, Mintoff libbes lill gharwien u tama lil foqra, ghamel ezatt li ippridka KRISTU. Habb b qalbu kollha lil bghatut. Talla lil Malta fuq pedestall, issa mar fejn kien jistoqlu, igawdi fil-genna. Insellmulek perit minn qalbna u grazzi ta kull ma ghamilt maghna u ma MALTA TAGHNA.
Michael Fenech
I hope that someone will take the initative to start legal procedure against DCG, because the comments that she wrote are purely FULL OF HATRED! There already a petition on facebook, and I encourage all those Maltese and Gozitan people of good will, whatever their political beliefs are, to join in and condemn those vulgar comments. I also expect that the Maltese journalist league releases a statement of condemn. Shame on DCG! Min taħseb li int??????
Saviour Cachia
Hear hear Joseph I agree with you 100 per cent. To Lawrence, it is fitting that Mintoff while resting in peace should be given the acclaim he deserved from all the people of Malta and Gozo. What ever was done, the good, the bad, and the ugly, was inspired by the eternal motto of "MALTA FIRST AND FOREMOST". Mintoff was human like us and not divine but his spirit was something that amazed all around the four corners of the world. Thank you Perit for our generation you remain the Saviour of Malta.
john mercieca
Malta issellem lil vera Missiera.Strieh Perit u grazzi ta kollox mil-qalb.
John Farrugia
Malta this evening lost a great man and statesman. For half of Malta he was considered a 'demon' but we all know he had a vision to see Malta free of any entanglements and being pawn of superpowers. We owe our freedom to this man who a lot consider him 'saviour of Malta'. Sometimes his tactics were tough however he always wanted the best for Malta. His motto was, "Malta first above everything...". I salute you Perit and may you rest in peace because you have worked so much. Thanks.
freddie micallef
Min hawn insellimlek Perit.Int kont l-akbar mexxej li kella Malta.Grazzi ta kollox.
Zunzan
Sahha Perit. Malta ssellimlek. Int missier Malta moderna. Mhux dejjem qbilt mieghek u gieli rrabbjajtni, bhal meta waqqajt il-gvern. Bla dubju ta xejn il-gid li ghamilt jaghmlek l-aqwa politiku Malti ta kull zmien.
Dindu
I have lost my father a second time round. May both of them, now reunited, rest in peace.
maltipur
Malta was very poor - in 1955 Mintoff started the change and we could feel the improvement as soon as he was our prime minister. He made mistake especially towards the end but we are where we are today because of him. Thank you Perit and may you have eternal rest.