Therese Comodini Cachia has decided to stay on as an MEP and will not take the seat in Parliament to which she was elected last Saturday.
"With deep regret but after careful consideration and discussion with my family, I have decided to relinquish the seat as a member of the House of Representatives elected from the 8th district," the former shadow minister for education said in a statement.
Dr Comodini Cachia relayed the surprise statement to the press a day after she obtained 1,523 first-count votes.
"This was a very short electoral campaign and people's support and the trust shown in me is overwhelming. I have continuously sought to reciprocate people’s trust by addressing national priorities and people's concerns, both locally and within the European Parliament. This is what I intend to continue doing during the remaining part of my term as member of the European Parliament – strengthening the voice of each and every Maltese and Gozitan within the European Parliament," she said.
"Rebuilding Malta's reputation abroad remains a top priority for our country. I am committed to achieve the best possible results for Malta and to help to rebuild Malta's reputation. Likewise, as I was there to support the Nationalist Party at its lowest point, I will continue to be available to assist the party in rebuilding itself."
Dr Comodini Cachia thanked Simon Busuttil for his sacrifices and the determination shown throughout the past four years, deputy leaders Mario de Marco and Beppe Fenech Adami, and all the leadership team for their unconditional support to the party. She also thanked her family and supporters.
In comments to Times of Malta, Dr Comodini Cachia said she had served on the policy forum of the Nationalist Party where she was among those who scrutinised all the electoral proposals.
She felt that her role within the party was more important than her role in parliament, as not being an MP would give her much more freedom to fight for what she believed in, within the party.
Her decision means that popular radio presenter David Thake now appears to be in pole position to take her seat.
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