The Malta Independent 21 January 2021, Thursday

Update (2): Gavin Gulia resigns from parliament, PN accuses Robert Abela of 'manipulating democracy'

Wednesday, 13 January 2021, 16:33 Last update: about 7 days ago

Gavin Gulia was sworn in as an MP on Wednesday and resigned just minutes later.

Gulia had won a casual election to replace former Finance Minister Edward Scicluna in Parliament.

In a brief statement, former PL MP Gulia said that Prime Minister Robert Abela asked him to consider staying on as chairman for the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA). He said that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, “this is a crucial time for tourism, therefore PM Abela asked to me to continue to oversee and remain as chairman.” “At the request of the Prime Minister, I accepted his invitation,” therefore he resigned from the house.

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However, soon after, the Tourism Ministry issued a statement and said that before Gulia was sworn in as an MP, he had resigned from his role as Chairman of the MTA. This newsroom is informed that this was a formality as in order to be sworn in, he could not be the MTA Chairman, and he will be reappointed to the post.

Gulia’s regisnation means that the government is now free to choose anyone to fill the vacant seat through a co-option process.

Gulia won a casual election on the 7th district just yesterday, beating out potential PL problem-child Charles Azzopardi - who is now a PN life member after the PL barred him from recontesting for his Rabat local council seat under the party's ticket in 2019, and who may have defected to the Opposition - and former PN MP turned PL candidate Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando.

In his first comments after winning, Gulia said that he was happy to have won the election and that he would be resigning his chairmanship with the MTA.

In reaction to the events, the PN said that Prime Minister Robert Abela cares only about his and the PL's partisan interests, saying that he had confirmed as much when he turned the country's highest institution into a joke through one of his MPs resigning only seconds after taking oath.

"Nobody believes that Robert Abela and Gavin Gulia did not have everything planned before today's scene, which was a scene of disrespect to the will and choice of the voters", the party said.

The party said that Robert Abela was once again manipulating the democratic system in order to get who he wants into Parliament and not who the people elected.

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