Anthony Buttigieg is new Democratic Party leader

Medical doctor Anthony Buttigieg replaces Marlene Farrugia as PD leader after the other candidate withdraws from the race

Anthony Buttigieg has replaced Marlene Farrugia at the helm of the Democratic Party
Anthony Buttigieg has replaced Marlene Farrugia at the helm of the Democratic Party

Anthony Buttigieg, a founding member of the Democratic Party, is the new leader after he was the only candidate for the post vacated by Marlene Farrugia.

He was nominated by the party's two MPs - outgoing leader Marlene Farrugia, who proposed him and seconded by Godfrey Farrugia.

No election was necessary because the other contender, young environmentalist Timothy Alden, had earlier withdrawn from the race.

In a statement the PD said its electoral commission had received nominations for the various posts on the party's executive council and these were equal to the vacancies available. Elections scheduled for Wednesday have now been cancelled because they are no longer necessary.

The PD said Marlene Farrugia and Godfrey Farrugia will continue to be active members of the party and work closely with the new leader. Buttigieg does not hold a parliamentary seat.

The Orange party reaffirmed its stand in favour of good governance, sustainable development and constitutional reform.

Earlier, Alden announced on his Facebook wall his withdrawal from the leadership race, pledging to support Buttigieg.

Alden, who is active in the non-governmental organisation Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar, had entered the race in September. He said that his responsibilities in NGOs meant that he had to find a balance between his political and professional life. Alden will continue being active in PD but "in a less prominent role than leader".

Buttigieg and Alden contested the last election as PD candidates on the Nationalist Party list as part of the Forza Nazzjonali coalition.