Robert Abela co-opts chief aide Clyde Caruana, MEP Miriam Dalli to Parliament

Prime Minister Robert Abela has co-opted his head of secretariat Clyde Caruana and Labour MEP Miriam Dalli to the House of Representatives

Clyde Caruana (left) and Miriam Dalli
Clyde Caruana (left) and Miriam Dalli

Clyde Caruana, the economist who heads the Prime Minister’s secretariat, has been co-oped to the Maltese parliament, along with Labour MEP Miriam Dalli.

The decision was announced to the Labour parliamentary group and Cabinet in a meeting on the Budget 2020 at the Office of the Prime Minister.

Labour’s two new MPs will take the seats vacated by former PM Joseph Muscat and Labour MP Etienne Grech, who resigned his seat last week.

Senior government sources said both are expected to be given a Cabinet post in a reshuffle that Robert Abela is expected to make in the coming weeks.

The sources said that Abela opted for a technocrat to strengthen government’s team at a time when the economy and public finances are taking a battering as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Miriam Dalli will be leaving her own powerful post in the European Parliament as vice-president of the Socialists & Democrats, where she spearheaded major legislation on carbon emissions and the automotive industry. She has been an influential MEP inside Brussels as attested by Politico magazine and Votewatch.eu. She has also focused her work on job creation, the green and blue economy, immigration, and environment.

Caruana had fronted the COVID recovery package that was unveiled at the start of summer in briefings with journalists.

Caruana was appointed head of the JobsPlus agency when Labour came to power in 2013 and was responsible for drawing up the free childcare system unveiled a year later. Prior to the 2013 election, Caruana helped author a jobs proposal by the Union Ħaddiema Magħqudin, which the major political parties signed up to. Caruana was also Labour’s mayor of Żabbar between 2006 and 2009.

He was made head of Abela’s secretariat at the Office of the Prime Minister in January, taking up the role previously occupied by the disgraced Keith Schembri. His transition into parliament will open up a post at Castille for the powerful post of head of secretariat.

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