One of the candidates in the running to take Edward Scicluna’s vacated parliamentary seat is a paid-up member of the Labour Party’s bitter rivals, the Nationalist Party.
Sources told Times of Malta that Charles Azzopardi, a former Rabat Mayor, joined the PN after being ousted by the PL and barred from contesting in 2019.
It has been suggested that Azzopardi was booted out to make room for Sandro Craus’ election as Rabat Mayor. Craus is the OPM Customer Care head who was instrumental in providing the middleman in the Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination, Melvin Theuma, a no-work government job.
It is unclear why Azzopardi was blocked from running. However, sources have suggested that public opposition to a development on Saqqajja Hill could be behind it.
Azzopardi had once issued a subtle swipe at the Labour Party, stating on Facebook that they “squeezed me dry like a lemon and then discarded me”.
Azzopardi has been a PN paid-up member (tesserat) long enough to have been eligible to vote in the leadership election between Adrian Delia and Bernard Grech.
Despite his official affiliation with the PN, Azzopardi will still contest the casual election.
Azzopardi faces stiff competition from two other Labour candidates on the district; former minister and current Malta Tourism Authority Chairman Gavin Gulia; and former PN MP and current Chairman of the Malta Council for Science and Technology, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando.
Pullicino Orlando has confirmed he will run for the post, while Gulia has been a bit more coy about his decision.
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