Chris Cardona insists it was his decision not to be minister in Robert Abela's Cabinet

The former economy minister Chris Cardona says that despite being offered a ministerial role, he chose not to accept it, and made the decision to focus more on party

Chris Cardona and Joseph Muscat pictured together in an Instagram post by the former Prime Minister
Chris Cardona and Joseph Muscat pictured together in an Instagram post by the former Prime Minister

Chris Cardona has said that it was his decision not to be part of Robert Abela’s Cabinet in his first comments after being denied a ministerial job.

The Labour Party deputy leader was moved out of the economy ministry by Abela and was rumoured to have denied a different posting offered to him.

Talking to MaltaToday, Cardona said that he decided to inform the Prime Minister that he would not like to retain a role in Cabinet.

The former economy minister said that circumstances dictate that he focuses more on party-related work, rather than ministerial duties.

He also said this would be a great time step back and spend more time with his family.

“The Prime Minister did tell me that he wanted me to stay on and continue my work, but also accepted my decision not to take up a ministerial role,” Cardona said.

Cardona said that he will retain his role as deputy leader for party affairs within the PL’s administration, adding that Abela gave him the go-ahead to invest more time on party issues.

“The Prime Minister, who is also the leader of the party did say that the party does require someone with my experience to continue helping it move forward, and I am happy to do so,” he said.

Asked whether he would be contesting the next general election, Cardona said that he has not yet made a decision.

“We will see about it later on. It all depends on the what the party needs,” Cardona said.

On Wednesday, Abela announced his Cabinet that included a crop of fresh faces.

Cardona, former energy minister Joe Mizzi and former parliamentary secretary for active ageing and disability, Anthony Agius Decelis, lost out on a Cabinet spot.

On Instagram, on Wednesday evening, just as Cabinet got sworn in, former prime minister Joseph Muscat posted a photo of himself at home with Cardona.

The photo was accompanied by a caption: “New beginnings in the evening.”

Cardona and Muscat go back a long time together, having started out as reporters with One radio in their younger days.

A screen shot of the post making the rounds on Facebook shows that former chief of staff Keith Schembri liked the post.

READ ALSO: Here’s what Malta prime minister Robert Abela’s new Cabinet looks like