Disability commission chair Oliver Scicluna to be co-opted Labour MP

CRPD chair Oliver Scicluna is expected to be co-opted as a Labour MP

Oliver Scicluna
Oliver Scicluna

Disability commission chair Oliver Scicluna is to be co-opted Labour MP instead of Gavin Gulia who resigned suddenly this afternoon.

Scicluna, 34, was born with spina bifida and has occupied the role of commissioner for rights of persons with a disability since 2016.

Scicluna has no known prior involvement in party politics.

The Labour Party rumour mill had the mayor of Haż-Żebbuġ, Malcolm Paul Galea, and Gozitan surgeon Jo Etienne Abela, as front runners for a possible co-option.

The names surface after the resignation of Gavin Gulia, a mere 24 hours since he was returned to the House in a casual election prompted by the resignation of longtime finance minister Edward Scicluna.

Runner-up Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, a former Nationalist MP who ran on a Labour ticket in 2017, was unaware that Gulia had submitted his resignation seconds after taking his oath in the House.

MaltaToday understands that Labour’s prerogative to co-opt an MP after the resignation of an MP elected in a casual election, will not necessarily mean that Pullicino Orlando will be asked to take up the seat.

But it is clear that Gulia’s instant resignation shows Labour’s intention to have a new MP clearly aligned to Robert Abela introduced to the House.

Galea is a former campaign manager for Abela and a general practitioner in Żebbuġ. Abela is a Consultant Laparoscopic and Endoscopic Surgeon at Gozo General, Mater Dei, and St James Hospitals. None of them were candidates for the general election.

Gulia was a former Labour minister and MP but failed to be re-elected in 2017. The casual election was contested by Gulia and Pullicino Orlando in a bid to scupper the chances of favourite Charles Azzopardi, the former Rabat mayor, who was disowned by Labour in 2019. Azzopardi has since become a PN card-carrying member, but failed to be elected in the casual election for Scicluna’s seat.

READ ALSO: PN accuses Abela of ridiculing parliament with Gulia’s sudden resignation