The Malta Independent 4 December 2020, Friday

Labour Rabat mayor speaks of ‘malicious manoeuvres’ to get him out

Tuesday, 26 February 2019, 08:08 Last update: about 3 years ago

Rabat mayor Charles Azzopardi has spoken of malicious manoeuvres intended to tarnish his reputation and credibility, and to justify the Labour Party’s decision prohibiting him from representing it in the next local council elections in March.

Writing on Facebook, Azzopardi said on 15 June he was informed by the PL that he would not be allowed to contest on its behalf.

Azzopardi, who has publicly opposed a proposed development on Saqqajja Hill, said that the day after he was handed an anonymous report with allegations about the council’s operations. This report was given to him by a “person who had the duty to inform me about the report before the party took the hasty decision” (to stop me from contesting on its behalf).

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Could it be that the report was “hastily compiled internally by the party in which I militated for years”, Azzopardi asked. “Why was I good for the 2017 general election and not good for the 2019 local council election,” he said, even considering that the anonymous report covered the council’s operations between 2014 and 2017.

The report, he said, was supposedly compiled by a councillor with the initials E.D., but there is no councillor with such initials, and all Rabat councillors denied they were behind the report. All councillors had always agreed with the council’s financial operations and the auditors employed to monitor them had found no anomalies, Azzopardi said.

The mayor said he copied the report, together with his reply, to the Prime Minister, Minister Owen Bonnici, PS Silvio Parnis, the Governance Board, the director general of local councils and the Auditor General. “I was ignored and not given a reply,” he said, with Parnis agreeing to see me a few months later.

He said he tried his best for the party to revoke its position, but in September police officers turned up at the Rabat council to investigate the council’s financial operations. Five months have passed since then and no other word has been received, he said.

“Why do they want to eliminate me,” he asked.

 

 

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