Is Chris Cardona refusing to resign?

Labour deputy leader Chris Cardona has so far not submitted his resignation despite being asked to do so by Prime Minister Robert Abela

Chris Cardona resigned from parliament last April but retained his post as party deputy leader
Chris Cardona resigned from parliament last April but retained his post as party deputy leader

Chris Cardona has not yet submitted his resignation from deputy leader despite Robert Abela asking him to do so.

The Labour Party has not yet received Cardona’s resignation despite the Prime Minister, this morning telling MaltaToday that the deputy leader will be stepping down “in the coming hours”.

PL sources said Cardona is refusing to step down over claims made in court that he was implicated in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder. The former minister has denied the claims.

MaltaToday reached out to Cardona but no reply was forthcoming.

READ ALSO: Chris Cardona to resign from PL deputy leader after Prime Minister asks him to leave

Cardona has described the allegations as “lies”. It was middleman Melvin Theuma and Yorgen Fenech business associate Johann Cremona, who testified that Fenech had told them of Cardona’s involvement in the murder.

Cardona was not appointed to Cabinet by Abela last January, and the former economy minister resigned from parliament last April.

However, Cardona retained his post as deputy leader for party affairs.

Sources within the party said Abela cannot remove the deputy leader, which means that a showdown will be necessary if Cardona continues to resist calls for his resignation.

The PL statute says that deputy leaders get confirmed or removed by the general conference after a general election.

Although there is no specific manner by which a deputy leader can be removed, sources said that a vote of no confidence would have to be taken in the general conference, a prospect many in the party would want to avoid.

On Sunday, Cardona told The Malta Independent that he was not comfortable commenting on names popping during the course of court proceedings. "I am sure many names will pop sooner or later. So my advice on those hinting on name popping is better wait," Cardona was quoted saying.

Abela had on the same day spoken of his certainty that Cardona would do the right thing.

However, on Tuesday, the Prime Minister said that he spoke to Cardona and asked him to resign.

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