The Malta Independent 21 April 2019, Sunday

Franco Debono not contesting election; hints he may relocate to Rome

Malta Independent Wednesday, 30 January 2013, 13:22 Last update: about 6 years ago


As the period for general election candidates to submit their nomination with the electoral commission today comes to a close, former PN backbencher Franco Debono ended months of speculation announcing his decision not to contest as an independent candidate.

Last summer the PN’s executive committee had banned him along with Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando and Jesmond Mugliett from contesting on the PN ticket. In the case of Dr Debono he was disciplined after voting with the opposition who moved a no-confidence motion in Home Affairs Minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici.

Dr Debono made this announcement on his blog, where he strongly hinted that he might be relocating to the Italian capital. In his comments Dr Debono said that after fulfilling his wish of becoming a criminal lawyer and an MP, his next wish would be to spend some time practising law in Rome.

In his comments the former PN backbencher said that he resisted the temptation to set up a new party, even though he was approached by many to make this move.

Dr Debono said that he has been handed a petition signed by hundreds of people who expressed their readiness to enrol themselves, should he decide to set up a new party.

He remarked during his time as an MP he brought about important reforms such as the split between justice and home affairs, and the right to have a lawyer during interrogation.

Once again he criticised the PN for defending Austin Gatt rather than show him the exit door following his “failures” such as the public transport reform and the power station extension.

Dr Debono claimed that the Prime Minister is aware that some of the current crop of PN candidates are of bad conduct, “whose presence in parliament would bring this institution in disrepute”. However Dr Debono did not mention any names.

The former PN backbencher who brought down the government by voting against the budget on the 10 of December, had contested the general election for the first time in 1998, aged 24. He was elected in 2008 at the third time of asking.

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