The CEO of Project Green is expected to resign and eventually run for the European Parliament election in June, Times of Malta can confirm.

Senior Labour Party sources said Steve Ellul will be handing in his resignation from the top job of the agency in the coming days as he is being urged by the party to run for the MEP elections as one of its leading candidates.

As former prime minister and two-term MEP Alfred Sant prepares to retire from European political life, many in the party see Ellul as “the ideal candidate to step into the void left by the departures of Miriam Dalli and Alfred Sant from European politics”, the sources said.

He is seen as “a pragmatic and level-headed party loyalist” who could appeal to families and attract “both moderate voters and disenchanted Labourites”, they said.

It is unclear whether Ellul has submitted his nomination and a request for comment sent to him had not yet been answered by the time of writing.

The 38-year-old financial analyst got very close to the heart of political power around this time last year when he was appointed the CEO of Project Green, the newest government agency tasked with implementing the €700 million greening project that was one of the major promises of the 2022 election campaign.

Prime Minister Robert Abela had pledged to spend the money over seven years to create green spaces in urban environments and Ellul was employed on a three-year contract to deliver on that ambitious promise.

Before becoming Project Green CEO, Ellul also served as a consultant in Miriam Dalli’s energy ministry and spearheaded the PL’s economic policy group.

Rumours had long been swirling that Ellul was considering a run for Brussels but when Times of Malta asked him about his intentions in an interview in October, he remained tight-lipped, simply saying he is leaving his options open.

Last April, Alfred Sant confirmed he would not contest the MEP election, saying he wants to “make room” for others. It is also still unclear whether Cyrus Engerer will be running again.

MEPs Alex Agius Saliba has confirmed his candidature and has already been approved by the party.

MEP Josianne Cutajar has not yet officially confirmed her candidature, although she is expected to contest.

In July, the PL approved three new candidates for the MEP election – young lawyers Marie Elise Agius (36), former Mtarfa mayor Daniel Attard (31) and Gudja mayor Marija Sara Vella Gafà (27).

It then approved economist former union man Jesmond Bonello as a candidate in October and economist Clint Azzopardi Flores as a candidate in December. 

Ellul would also need to be approved by the party before he kicks off his campaign.

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