The Malta Independent 16 July 2020, Thursday

MLP Deputy leader for parliamentary affairs election tomorrow: A race between three

Malta Independent Wednesday, 11 June 2008, 00:00 Last update: about 7 years ago

With the announcement of Josè Herrera’s withdrawal from the race for MLP deputy leaders, there are now only three candidates left for the post of deputy leader for parliamentary affairs. Michael Carabott caught up with them, CARMELO ABELA, CHRIS CARDONA and ANGLU FARRUGIA, to find out more about their background and what they feel they can offer the party.

Carmelo Abela

Mr Abela was born on 10 February 1972. He is Zejtun born and bred and still lives there with his wife and two children. He read Labour Studies at the University and worked at Mid-Med and HSBC Bank. He is an avid follower of the village feast and takes part in various preparations. He is involved in sport, founding a football nursery after having been a player for Zejtun Corinthians.

His first taste of politics came in 1994 when he was elected to serve on the Zejtun local council. He was elected to Parliament for the first time in 1996 and was appointed assistant whip and cashier of the MLP’s parliamentary group.

He was returned to Parliament in the snap 1998 election and was appointed opposition spokesman for youth and sport, while retaining the assistant whip position.

He was again returned in 2003 and was appointed deputy speaker and later made opposition spokesman for education, youth, sport and culture. He was elected to Parliament for the fourth consecutive time in 2008 and was confirmed in the post of deputy speaker.

Mr Abela said he was contesting for the post in order to serve the people and the MLP. He said he has been an MP for 12 years and with his time as deputy speaker, feels he has the right amount of experience to be able to serve as deputy leader. “I have always been loyal to Malta and the MLP and I have always worked hard to do my bit. I feel that my experience will allow me to help the MLP’s parliamentary group to be more effective,” he said.

Mr Abela said the opposition needed to be strong so as to be a strong government in the future. He also believes that the MLP needs to change and communicate better.

“We need to have an up-to-date vision and we need to put our message across better as a party. I will work with the new leader hand in hand and I will support him so we can take this party forward. We need to get into people’s hearts and minds and we can do this by inspiring confidence, something I believe I can contribute to,” he said.

Chris Cardona

Chris Cardona was born on 24 August 1972. He graduated Doctorate of Laws from the University and specialised his studies in International Maritime Law at the United Nations’ International Maritime Law Institute. Today he is in private practice and is senior partner at RCSM Legal.

Dr Cardona joined the Labour Party News Agency in 1992 and contested the Birkirkara local council elections. He has been elected to Parliament in four consecutive general elections, in 1996, 1998, 2003 and 2008 on the eighth district. He is a member of the Council of Europe Foreign Affairs Committee and the Malta EU Joint Parliamentary Committee. He has been spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and presently occupies the post of Shadow Minister for Local Government.

“Labour has arrived at a stage where it is the right time to stop looking back and concentrate on the tasks ahead. We have to learn from our partial successes and from our failures – it is time to think again. It’s time for renewal,” he said.

Dr Cardona said he firmly believes that the path for this renewal doesn’t lie only in institutional fixes alone but also in finding ways – however slow and incremental – to increase the people’s sense of empowerment in their everyday lives.

“We have to translate this thinking primarily into our own party, which progressively has to witness a mature development balancing what people really need and aspire to,” he said.

Dr Cardona said that with the strength of common endeavour we achieve more than we could achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few.

“Policy in the Malta Labour Party has to be made through a process which has to be re-designed to involve all party stakeholders, the wider community as well as the party delegates who cannot be simply used as a rubber stamp in the general conference. In shaping party policy we need the continuous support of all those who are truly and genuinely interested: primarily our delegates and the General Workers’ Union,” said Dr Cardona.

He continued: “Labour now needs to have an interesting animated political journey. Amid the partisanship and bickering of today’s public debate, we desperately need to have the ability to unite all our people around a politics of purpose – a politics that puts solving the challenges of everyday Maltese ahead of partisan calculation and political gain.”

He concluded by saying that Labour needs fresh thinking and a politics that no longer settles for the lowest common denominator – a new generation of leadership.

Anglu Farrugia

Angelo Farrugia, better known as Anglu, is a lawyer by profession. He was born in Mosta, on 29 December 1955. He is married and has one daughter who is following in his footsteps, reading law.

Dr Farrugia’s career included a stint in the Police Corps as a Police Superintendent between 1977 and 1996. He attended the Mosta Primary School during his younger days, followed by secondary education at the Archbishop’s Seminary, which in turn was followed by the Teachers’ Training College. He subsequently entered the University of Malta where he graduated Doctor of Laws and Magister Juris in International Law (Magna Cum Laude). He is also a Salzburg Seminar Scholar.

He entered politics for the first time in 1996, contesting the general election on the MLP ticket. During the Labour government of 1996-1998 he was chairman for the committee for the consideration of Bills of the House of Representatives, and also chairman of all committees of the House of Representatives, which appointment gave him added voting powers when preceding the Plenary, as the then speaker, was not an elected speaker. During this two-year government period, he was also head of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly delegation.

He is very active in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly where he participates in the Standing Committee on Human Rights and took part in various conferences within the EU and the Commonwealth, the most recent one held in Capetown, South Africa.

Recently he formed part of the Maltese Parliamentary delegation that went to India where he participated in direct talks on the Iranian nuclear crisis.

He was re-elected in the 2003 general election for the third time from the 11th district, where afterwards he contested the leadership race within the Labour Party, obtaining more than 26 per cent of the vote.

In 2008 he was re-elected from the 11th district and has since 1998 been opposition justice spokesman.

During his campaign for the deputy leadership for Parliamentary Affairs, Dr Farrugia laid stress upon his slogan for unity within the party and determination to succeed.

Soon after the publication of the 8 March general election result, Dr Farrugia presented two separate reports on alleged corrupt practices carried out by Nationalists.

His hobbies include reading, research about Maltese living abroad, jogging and spending quality time with his wife and daughter.

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