Former Labour whip not ruling out PN ticket

Godfrey Farrugia will make his decision public once Electoral Commission receives all submissions

Godfrey Farrugia announced last week he would not be contesting the election on the Labour Party ticket
Godfrey Farrugia announced last week he would not be contesting the election on the Labour Party ticket

The former Labour whip Godfrey Farrugia is not ruling out contesting the 3 June election as a Democratic Party candidate on the Nationalist Party’s list, after announcing that he will not re-contest on the Labour ticket.

Asked by MaltaToday whether he is considering standing for election as a coalition candidate, Farrugia said: “you would know of my decision, which I took some time ago, tomorrow (sic), when the electoral office closes its doors for nominations.”

The Electoral Commission has said that submissions will be accepted between Thursday and Saturday.

Farrugia’s partner, Marlene Farrugia, the former Labour MP who resigned to start her own party, the Partit Demokratiku, which has now joined the PN in a coalition, has declared her intention to contest the seventh district. 

It is unlikely that both would contest the seventh district but the PN list is thin on heavyweight candidates there.

Last week, Farrugia announced that he would not be contesting the next general election on the Labour Party ticket. In a Facebook post, Farrugia said that he had decided not to contest the election because he no longer felt he belonged in “what is calling itself the Labour Party”.

This came after his resignation as the Labour Party’s Whip in the wake of the reports the previous week that the Prime Minister’s wife owns an offshore Panama company.

In a strongly worded open letter to Joseph Muscat, the Zebbug family doctor said that the allegations hurt him because he treasures his country.
“I deliberated this decision at length, I even had some sleepless nights, and I remembered the first speeches I had given in Parliament,” he wrote.

“I voted as a Whip, even when I was asked to vote against my own conscience.

“The public’s faith in a historic Labourite ideal should never have been betrayed and used to advance the agenda of a few people, who clearly don’t have the national interest at heart, let alone in their minds.”

Farrugia was appointed health minister upon Labour’s election in 2013, but stepped down a year later and was replaced by Konrad Mizzi. He was appointed Whip of the Labour Party’s parliamentary group in 2015.

Farrugia, who served as an independent mayor of Zebbug in the 1990s, is a firework and festa enthusiast who enjoys respect across party lines. He is a popular family doctor and was elected on the seventh electoral district after drawing 2,089 first count votes.