Former Rabat mayor disowned by Labour to contest casual election

Former Rabat mayor Charles Azzopardi disowned by Labour Party will contest seat vacated by finance minister Edward Scicluna

Charles Azzopardi (right) with his successor as Rabat mayor Sandro Craus
Charles Azzopardi (right) with his successor as Rabat mayor Sandro Craus

Charles Azzopardi, an election candidate the Labour Party subsequently disowned, has submitted his nomination for the seventh district casual election.

The casual election follows the resignation of former Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, who stepped from MP late in 2020.

Former Rabat mayor Charles Azzopardi is one of three Labour candidates who can contest the upcoming casual election in what could be an embarrassing moment for the PL.

Azzopardi was not allowed by the PL to contest the 2019 local elections on its behalf following allegations of corruption and nepotism when he was mayor. No charges have ever been filed against him despite a police investigation into the claims.

Given that his name was on the general election ballot, the party cannot stop Azzopardi from contesting the casual election and if elected he could be joining Konrad Mizzi, Marlene Farrugia and Godfrey Farrugia as an independent.

The other two Labour candidates on the district are former minister and current Malta Tourism Authority chair, Gavin Gulia and former PN MP and current chair at the Malta Council for Science and Technology, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando.

Pullicino Orlando defected to Labour after 2013 and eventually contested the 2017 general election as a Labour candidate.

Pullicino Orlando said he would “definitely” contest the casual election. “Yes, I will definitely contest and I am being encouraged to do so,” he told MaltaToday last week.

Gulia was less forthcoming, insisting he had not yet made up his mind. “When the casual election is formally announced, I will think about it then,” he said.