Former Nationalist Party candidate Mario Galea has pushed back at claims he was forced to quit, saying it was his choice to withdraw his candidature for next month’s election.

Galea, who has long faced mental health issues, claimed he was stigmatised by two PN officials in particular, one of whom has since quit. He refused to identify them.

“They made my life hell,” he said.

Galea was one of four veteran MPs who announced on Monday that they would not be contesting the election.

PN leader Bernard Grech said at a party event on Monday evening that he had asked Mario Galea, Kristy Debono and Clyde Puli to call it a day.

Veteran MP Claudio Grech also announced he would not be contesting the election during the same event.

Galea told Times of Malta that up until last Sunday, he was all set to contest the election, but changed his mind on Monday.

“I told him (Grech) via a letter that I would be resigning a 9am on Monday. He messaged me in the afternoon, saying he read my letter and thanked me for my efforts. It is a total lie to say he asked me to resign,” Galea said.

Galea said he will still be voting PN, but decided to take a backseat role to safeguard his mental health. 

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