The future of the Partit Demokratiku has been left with large question marks hanging over its head, as Godfrey Farrugia – one of its two MPs – decided not to contest the leadership spot recently vacated by his partner Marlene Farrugia.
“I am determined to serve the country through the PD in Parliament,” he said in a Facebook post. “At this stage, I am not interested in contesting the leadership of this party, not least because we have capable others willing and able to take on that responsibility while I consolidate the PD’s presence in the highest institution in the land.”
The announcement comes as a shock, as Farrugia was widely expected to take on the reins from his partner and fellow MP Marlene Farrugia. It also means that the next PD leader is highly unlikely to have a seat in Parliament, an unprecedented situation for a political party with members in the House.
Yet Godfrey Farrugia was optimistic on the future of the ‘Orange Party’ as a political party separate from the Nationalist Party with whom it had formed a coalition in the recent general election. Indeed, he described it as a “budding political force…determined to serve the country, freely and unencumbered by compromising deals with third parties”.
“With two experienced Members of Parliament, and an impending total overhaul of the Leadership and Executive of this budding political force, the country is going to acquire precisely what it needs : new , fresh, reliable people spearheading the growth of this political endeavour outside parliament, while echoing the voice of our communities and society within parliament,” he wrote.
“The renewed and fast evolving PD has no baggage to weigh it down and will be run by citizens with whom everyone can work , away from the sticky quagmire that the traditional political landscape has sunk in.”
The only person who has so far declared his interest to contest the post is Anthony Buttigieg, a doctor who had served as PD deputy leader until the general election but resigned in protest after Marlene Farrugia refused to rule out contesting the PN leadership.
He contested the last general election but performed poorly – obtaining a mere 232 first-count votes on two districts.