Konrad Mizzi has no intention of bowing out of politics even if Joseph Muscat is no longer Labour leader or Prime Minister.
The Labour MP and current Tourism Minister told the TV programme Xtra that he plans to contest another election as he felt the government’s plan to “modernise” Malta was still only half complete.
“I will run. We're halfway through a journey. I want Joseph Muscat to to stay and will work… to convince him to stay,” Dr Mizzi said.
The Prime Minister has repeatedly said that he plans on quitting local politics before the next general election.
Dr Mizzi entered politics for the first time in the 2013. The first-time MP was immediately made Energy Minister and tasked with overseeing the government’s plans to build a new gas-fired power station.
The Panama Papers leaks revealed that he set up a secret offshore company after rising to power, with plans to that effect beginning within weeks of Labour’s electoral victory.
Despite the scandal, the minister was resoundingly re-elected in the 2017 general election, garnering four times as many votes as in 2013.
Dr Mizzi has continued to make headlines since then, with a leaked email naming his offshore company - as well as one belonging to OPM chief of staff Keith Schmebri - as 'target clients' of Dubai company 17 Black.
A joint investigation by Times of Malta and Reuters subsequently revealed that 17 Black was owned by Yorgen Fenech, an investor in the Electrogas consortium which won the power station contract Dr Mizzi piloted.
The minister has consistently denied any wrongdoing, saying his offshore structure was intended for “family planning” reasons, that he has no knowledge whatsoever of 17 Black and that he has never received “a single cent” in corrupt funds.
In his interview, Dr Mizzi said that he had had a long conversation with Joseph Muscat about resigning back in 2016, when news of his Panama company first became public.
“If the Prime Minister told me to go, I would have left,” he said.
Instead, Dr Mizzi was ostensibly stripped of his Energy portfolio – though he remained a cabinet member tasked with energy projects – and stepped aside as Labour deputy leader, just weeks after having won the post.
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