Chris Cardona has decided to call it quits from Parliament but says he will stay on as Labour deputy leader for party affairs
Cardona on Wednesday told Times of Malta that he would be resigning his seat on Thursday but he intends to stay on in the Labour Party.
Labour parliamentary whip Glenn Bedingfield said when contacted "Yes, Chris Cardona has informed me that he intends to step down as MP".
Sources meanwhile told Times of Malta that former nationalist mayor Ian Castaldi Paris is the front runner to replace Cardona in the House. Castaldi Paris, sources said, also has an eye on the deputy leadership, should Cardona want to bow out of politics altogether.
However, others, including Cabinet ministers, are also keen on the post, sources said.
Cardona had been left out of Prime Minister Robert Abela’s Cabinet after having served as Economy Minister under Joseph Muscat.
In November last year he had “suspended" himself from Cabinet after businessman Yorgen Fenech was charged with ordering the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder.
A letter handed to police by Fenech with alleged details of the murder plot had named Cardona.
The former minister has denied any involvement.
Cardona was first elected to parliament in 1996 and was returned in 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013 and in the last general election.
A lawyer by profession, Cardona became PL deputy leader in 2016 after seeing off a challenge from Owen Bonnici who today serves as Education Minister.
MaltaToday reported the news on Cardona's departure on Wednesday morning, however it also said that he would be giving up his post as deputy leader.
In a Facebook post published shortly before news of Cardona's decision broke, Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi appeared to warn the outgoing MP that his resignation would not free him of legal scrutiny.
"The crimes you committed, alone or with others, will have consequences," Azzopardi wrote without elaborating.