Labour MP Etienne Grech resigns, paving way for two co-options to House

Labour MP and family GP Etienne Grech has resigned his parliamentary seat

Etienne Grech: resigns from House
Etienne Grech: resigns from House

The Labour MP Etienne Grech has resigned his Labour seat, citing personal reasons.

Grech, a family doctor, was elected on the fourth district (Paola, Fgura, Tarxien) in 2017 in a casual election.

His resignation will allow a new co-option to the House of Representatives, which allows the Labour Party executive committee to decide on whichever nomination it cares to forward for the House.

MaltaToday understands that Grech was already requested to step down as MP, due to his non-performance at district level.

This will be the second co-option that Labour will be making to the House following the resignation of former prime minister Joseph Muscat from the House. No nominations for the casual election were submitted for his seat on the second district.

Prime Minister Robert Abela has asked Labour MEP Miriam Dalli to leave Brussels and also be part of his Cabinet, a process made easy by the possibility of the co-option.

Dalli, who obtained the largest number of votes in the 2019 European elections – over 63,000 – has been tight-lipped over the proposal to join the House, even to her closest associates.

Dalli was once considered to be a favourite to replace Muscat as leader, often polling highly along possible contenders like Robert Abela, long before Muscat’s exit from politics. But after Muscat stepped down, Dalli decided to retain her seat in Brussels as the race started framing itself around the contest between deputy PM Chris Fearne and Abela. 

Dalli’s entry into the Cabinet would provide Abela with an opportunity to carry out a reshuffle, allowing the PM to advance the better elements of his team into new roles in Abela’s cabinet.

Dalli, who as a vice-president of the Socialists and Democrats enjoys a high profile in Europe, has been the author of successful environmental legislation, and has been at the forefront of the European socialists’ ‘green new deal’ policies such as Europe-wide emissions cuts and carbon-neutral targets.

Various ministers have been on the alert over a reshuffle that could leave some of Abela’s original team out in the cold, spelling resentment at constituency level if not all districts are covered by one representative in Cabinet.

More in National