Michael Farrugia has been appointed acting speaker in the absence of Anġlu Farrugia, who was taken ill a week ago.

The Labour MP and former minister has been assigned temporary duties as a reserve speaker until parliament's summer recess.

Labour whip Andy Ellul filed a motion on Monday allowing Michael Farrugia to serve in the role should deputy speaker and PN MP David Agius be indisposed. Agius is currently presiding over the House in the absence of Anġlu Farrugia.

The motion was approved by both parties. 

Last week, Agius said Anġlu Farrugia had been admitted to hospital for treatment.

MPs on both sides of the House expressed solidarity with the speaker and wished him a speedy recovery. 

Anġlu Farrugia's absence was also noted during the yearly Sette Giugno event last week. Agius read Farrugia's speech that evening. 

Last year, Times of Malta reported that Michael Farrugia was touted as a potential candidate for parliament's speaker, yet Anġlu Farrugia was later elected as speaker for an unprecedented third time, endorsed by only the government side of parliament.

The 67-year-old was first elected speaker of the House in 2013, succeeding Michael Frendo, and his position was reconfirmed in 2017.

Following last year's election, Michael Farrugia was left out of cabinet for the first time in his political career, which spans back to the 1990s. 

He served in multiple cabinet posts over the years, from health minister during the 1996 to 1998 Labour administration to Home Affairs Minister from 2017 to 2020, when he oversaw law enforcement's response to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

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