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‘Timing Wasn’t Right’: Marsaskala Mayor Explains Why He Turned Down Golden Chance To Become MP 

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Marsaskala mayor Mario Calleja has said he decided not to contest a casual election for the parliamentary seat vacated by former PL MP Silvio Grixti because the timing wasn’t right with the general election round the corner.

“There are only four months to go until the election, and since I’m not going to run, it wouldn’t have been right to spend four months as an MP,” Calleja told Lovin Malta.

“I discussed this with my family and I don’t think the time is right; I’d rather stay on as Marsaskala mayor.”

Had Calleja decided to contest the casual election, he would have been the clear frontrunner after having received 460 first-count votes on the third district at the 2017 general election.

Former PL MP Silvio Grixti

Former PL MP Silvio Grixti

The Marsaskala mayor had contested a casual election in 2019 for the seat vacated by Helena Dalli upon her appointment as EU Commissioner, finishing second behind Jean Claude Micallef. 

Asked by Lovin Malta why he had contested that casual election but opted out this time around, Calleja said that the circumstances were different back then as the general election wasn’t around the corner.

As no candidates submitted nominations for a casual election, the Labour Party will now get to co-opt an MP into Parliament. 

It will be the fifth co-option of Prime Minister Robert Abela’s administration, after Clyde Caruana, Oliver Scicluna, Miriam Dalli, and Jonathan Attard.

Earlier this week, Lovin Malta revealed that Mosta mayor Romilda Zarb, Rebecca Buttigieg and Andy Ellul have emerged as potential candidates for Grixti’s vacant seat. 

Cover photo: Marsaskala mayor Mario Calleja (Photo: Facebook)

Who would you like to see take on Grixti’s vacated seat? 

READ NEXT: I’m Convinced Schools Can Reopen Next Month, Malta’s New Education Minister States

Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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