Partit Demokratiku founder Marlene Farrugia and her partner Godfrey Farrugia, both former Labour MPs, on Sunday announced their resignation from the party to give it "a chance to rebuild into a party the electorate needs in time for the next elections".
They will retain their parliamentary seats until the end of the legislature but will not be contesting any further elections.
In a letter to the party’s temporary executive committee, the Farrugias said every political decision they had ever taken had been taken in loyalty, first and foremost, to the country.
They now felt that the country’s biggest need was to ensure that Malta remained a democratic country where the rule of law and social justice remained the main pillars of the country.
For democracy to remain alive at this moment in time, a political force gathering within it all movements with a vision for a sustainable, social and environmental economy, as well as respect for humanity was needed, they said. The Democratic Party was set up in 2016 for this to become more possible.
The Farrugias said they believed the PD could still evolve - even if it had to be dismantled and rebuilt - into the party the country needed for the electorate to have real choice in the next general election.
They said they believed that for it to develop into the next entity, it had to be made up of people who were relatively new to the political scene, and free of politicians who already had baggage.
“So with immediate effect, and with a sense of loyalty first and foremost towards the country, then towards the Partit Demokratiku, we the undersigned are presenting our resignation from the PD with immediate effect.”
The Partit Demokratiku was founded in 2016 by Marlene Farrugia, a former Labour, then independent MP. She set up the party as an alternative to the Labour and Nationalist parties.
The PD contested the last general elections as part of Forza Nazzjonali, a short-lived coalition with the Nationalist Party.
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