The Malta Independent 5 December 2020, Saturday

Frederick Azzopardi’s place in parliament to be decided in by-election – Zammit Dimech

Tuesday, 20 October 2020, 15:15 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Electoral Commission will issue a call for application for a by-election to replace former Nationalist Party Member of Parliament Frederick Azzopardi, who passed away last Saturday, with the PN currently not considering a co-option, Secretary General Francis Zammit Dimech told The Malta Independent.

Azzopardi, 71, was elected from the Gozo district and all unelected candidates have the chance to apply. If no candidate comes forward, then the PN will have to co-opt a new MP to replace Azzopardi.

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Only this week, Miriam Dalli and Clyde Caruana were co-opted by the Labour Party, replacing Joseph Muscat and Etienne Grech, both of whom resigned.

“Firstly, on Thursday Parliament will hold a tribute for Frederick Azzopardi,” Zammit Dimech said. “Then the Electoral Commission will organise a by-election for his seat in Parliament.”

He said that the electoral process will allow other candidates who contested in that district to apply for the by-election. When asked what will happen if none of them do so, he said that the party will have to co-opt a new member, but this will be extremely ‘unlikely’.

What happened with regard to Dalli and Caruana, it is clear the Labour Party convinced the candidates who could have contested for Muscat’s seat not to apply, Zammit Dimech said. It was an “exercise the Labour Party conducted to get the people they wanted.”

As for Grech, a co-option was necessary because Grech had been elected via casual election, and so in this case there could not be a second casual election.

PN candidates who were unelected in the Gozo district are Joseph Ellis, Censu Galea, Maria Portelli and Jason Zammit.

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