Victoria mayor Samuel Azzopardi calls it a day

In an announcement on his Facebook, Victoria’s Nationalist Party mayor says he will not be contesting the local elections next year

Victoria mayor Samuel Azzopardi
Victoria mayor Samuel Azzopardi

Samuel Azzopardi has given his constituents in Victoria a year’s notice of his intention not to contest local elections next year in a lengthy letter on Facebook.

Having been mayor of Gozo’s first city for the past decade, Azzopardi said the time had come to “pass the leadership of this city to someone else”.

However, he did not specify a reason for his decision.

“The reasons for this decision are many but irrelevant for this democratic process. It is not an easy decision, but I am doing it with great responsibility, in peace with myself, and with utmost respect towards democracy, which spirit I feel I always abided with. You will have to choose another mayor and I am sure your sovereign decision will be the right one,” he told his constituents, which he addressed as “dear citizens of Victoria”.

Thanking all those he worked with throughout his tenure, Azzopardi also apologised for the times when he “lost the middle way”.

Sources in Gozo told MaltaToday that Azzopardi had moved over to live in Malta and this had an impact on his presence in Gozo, which did not go down too well with many residents.

However, Azzopardi's heartfelt departure letter received several positive reactions from people, including the president of the Local Councils Association, the Labour Party’s Mario Fava.

In a post beneath Azzopardi’s letter, Fava said he was convinced of the Victoria mayor’s loyalty not only towards his city but to all that he was responsible for. “I am convinced your constituents did not take kindly to this news, but likewise I am convinced of their appreciation towards the time and dedication with which your served them,” Fava said.

Azzopardi was thrust in the spotlight two years ago when he was convicted of drunk-driving charges and refusing to submit to a breathalyser test after he was involved in a collision.

Azzopardi had resigned from mayor when the charges had been filed but the PN re-instated him after the court judgment.

In his ruling, Magistrate Joe Mifsud had said the incident should not detract from the accused's political, cultural and social work.

More in National