Alfred Sant to contest MEP elections

Labour Party MEP Alfred Sant has submitted his candidature for the May 2019 European Parliament elections

Labour MEP Alfred Sant has submitted his candidature for the May 2019 elections of the European Parliament.

On a Facebook post this afternoon, the former Labour prime minister said he had delivered his application to the Labour Party headquarters. He thanked Helena Dalli, Joe Debono Grech and Tommy Dimech who seconded his application as members of the party's General Conference.

Last Sunday, in a telephone interview on One Radio, prime minister Joseph Muscat had urged Sant, who was in studio, to contest the election.

“Please don’t leave us on tenterhooks any longer because the country and the party need you. It is ultimately up to you to decide but the country certainly needs an MEP with such experience as Alfred Sant,” Muscat said.

In a subsequent Facebook post, Sant said it was difficult to ignore an appeal made by the Prime Minister.

Sant will turn 71 next February. He contested the European Parliament election for the first time four years ago, obtaining 48,739 votes.

On Tuesday, he also received the unlikeliest of support to put his name back into the ring for the election, when Nationalist Party MEP candidate Peter Agius urged Sant to contest the election as a worthy adversary.

In a Facebook post, Agius, who is a convinced Europhile, praised Sant for his work as an MEP despite the Labour MEP’s scepticism over the European project.

“Dr Sant was the protagonist of the anti-membership front, so for many pro-Europeans like me, he elicits mixed feelings. But, after seeing him work in the European Parliament and Malta as an MEP, I have to appreciate the extraordinary energy he put in to communicate the true Europe to citizens,” Agius wrote.

Nationalist candidate Peter Agius
Nationalist candidate Peter Agius

Sant also managed to find Malta’s interest in lengthy technical dossiers, Agius added.

While arguing that he would have expected Sant to take clearer positions on wrongdoing by the Labour government, Agius said it would be good to have an adversary with “ideas of his calibre” in a discussion on how Europe could be used in the best interest of Malta.

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