[WATCH] Labour MPs, party executive to discuss Oliver Scicluna co-option today

Robert Abela says disability commission chair Oliver Scicluna’s co-option to parliament will be discussed in the parliamentary group and party executive

Oliver Scicluna's co-option to parliament will be discussed by the Labour parliamentary group and executive
Oliver Scicluna's co-option to parliament will be discussed by the Labour parliamentary group and executive

Updated at 7:30 p.m. with co-option approval 

Oliver Scicluna’s co-option to parliament on the government benches will be discussed later today by the Labour Party’s parliamentary group, Robert Abela has confirmed.

The Labour leader will also bring up the co-option for discussion in the party executive.

“The co-option will be discussed in the Labour parliamentary group today and the executive, although I am not obliged to do so,” Abela said when asked about the surprise move that saw former minister Gavin Gulia resign from MP just 24 hours after winning a casual election.

He insisted that Scicluna’s nomination would strengthen diversity in parliament.

The Nationalist Party had said the sudden resignation ridiculed parliament but Abela was unfazed by the suggestion and instead turned the tables on his rivals.

He insisted that co-option was a mechanism recognised at law and was used by the Opposition to elect its current leader and his predecessor.

The election of former PN leader Adrian Delia to parliament was identical to the Gulia case. Former PN MP Jean Pierre Debono had resigned from parliament, forcing a casual election that elected Peter Micallef. But seconds after taking his oath as an MP, Micallef resigned to create space for Delia’s co-option.

The current PN leader, Bernard Grech was also co-opted to parliament after the resignation of Ivan Bartolo.

The Labour Party co-opted Miriam Dalli and Clyde Caruana last November after the resignations of Joseph Muscat and Etienne Grech.

Abela said the anti-democratic manouvres were those by the PN to try and convince a Labour candidate to cross the floor if elected.

He was alluding to Labour candidate Charles Azzopardi, who contested the casual election.

Azzopardi ran for election on a Labour ticket in the 2017 general election but later fell out with the party when he was stopped from contesting the 2019 local elections.

Azzopardi subsequently became a life member of the PN and was invited by the Opposition leader to join his parliamentary group if elected in the casual election.

Labour Party confirms Oliver Scicluna co-option 

The Labour Party has confirmed Oliver Scicluna’s co-option into the House of Representatives. 

The party said in a statement that it was the Prime Minister Robert Abela himself who forwarded Scicluna’s co-option. 

The nomination was discussed among the government’s parliamentary group, as well as the party’s executive and was approved unanimously.