Former Labour MEP candidate Sharon Ellul Bonici has been named as a possible candidate linked to a right-wing eurosceptic group in May’s elections.
According to Brussels-based consultancy firm MHP Communications – which published a report on ‘The rise of Eurosceptic right-wing parties and the next EP elections’, Ms Ellul Bonici is cited as part of a plan to form a new right-wing eurosceptic group in the European Parliament.
Stephanie Gautier – one of the consultants – said Ms Ellul Bonici will contest the Maltese elections as an independent candidate with the intention of joining a group associated with France’s Marine Le Pen, if elected.
This plan also includes Godfrey Bloom – a former UKIP MEP – to contest independently in the UK and other far-right parties including Le Pen’s National Front, Austria’s Freedom Party, Belgium’s right-wing Vlaams Belang and the Dutch Freedom Party.
Contacted by The Sunday Times of Malta after ignoring several questions sent by e-mail, Ms Ellul Bonici said she would reply soon.
“I am in a meeting and will reply by e-mail. I am not at your disposal,” she said before hanging up.
After failing to get elected on behalf of Labour in 2009, Ms Ellul Bonici returned to Brussels as general secretary of a new political eurosceptic formation called the ‘European Alliance for Freedom’.
With a registered office in Birkirkara, the alliance receives tens of thousands of euros from the European Parliament budget and is chaired by Franz Obemayr from Austria’s Freedom Party. MEP Marine Le Pen is the deputy chairperson of the alliance.
Ms Ellul Bonici has been associated with euroscepticism throughout her political career. She was an active member of Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici’s Campaign for National Independence before Malta’s accession into the EU and had also formed the ‘No2EU’ group during the referendum campaign.
In the first MEP elections after accession, Ms Ellul Bonici had wanted to run for a seat in Brussels on behalf of Labour but was denied the opportunity after the party’s vigilance board had turned down her request.
However, Ms Ellul Bonici was then given the green light and unsuccessfully contested the 2009 elections for the party.