Former Labour minister Konrad Mizzi has announced he will not be contesting the upcoming general election.
Mizzi, who was expelled from the Labour Party's parliamentary group in the summer of 2020 and remained in parliament as an independent MP, made the announcement on Facebook on Saturday morning.
In the lengthy post, Mizzi said being a member of parliament was "a beautiful experience" that brought with it nine years of "work, results, struggles and lessons."
He referred to his work in the energy sector as well as the tourism industry, saying he looks back and sees "results and a strong economy".
"There were a lot of attacks over the years, but the people's support helped me keep going. I am sure that with time, the whole truth will come out. I have not held on to any anger and I wish everyone well," Mizzi wrote.
Mizzi finds God
The former minister said that over the past two years, God had become a central part of his life, something that gave him peace.
"I encourage more people to have faith," Mizzi said.
He ended his post by noting that the Labour Party's priorities have changed when compared to those of 2013, but he was still certain that the party will be at the forefront with new and ambitious projects.
"Even though I will not be in parliament, I will definitely keep supporting just causes and I promise to stay close to the people," he said.
Mizzi had stepped down as minister in 2019 following the arrest of Yorgen Fenech, a top businessman and shareholder of the power station company Electrogas. Fenech stands accused of masterminding the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Fenech had been revealed to be the owner of secret company 17 Black, the company that had been named as being the vehicle for funds to be deposited into secret Panama companies owned by Mizzi and former chief of staff Keith Schembri.
Months later, in 2020, Times of Malta and Reuters had revealed Fenech had made millions through 17 Black by profiting off a wind farm project Enemalta bought in Montenegro in late 2015.
Mizzi was energy minister at the time and leaked emails revealed that his financial advisers had named Fenech's 17 Black as the source of funds to be deposited in a secret Panama company they had set up for the minister.
Back in 2013, a relatively unknown Mizzi was widely credited as being one of the key players in Labour’s return to power that year. When Labour took office, Mizzi was appointed Energy Minister and was responsible for the granting of the contract to Electrogas and the building of the power station.
He also reformed Enemalta, bringing in Chinese giant Shanghai Electric as a minority shareholder with an injection of capital which brought a turn-around for the corporation.
As minister also responsible for health, Mizzi controversially brought in the then-unknown Vitals Global Healthcare group to run St Luke's Karin Grech and Gozo hospitals.
After being kicked out of the Labour Party, Mizzi stayed on as an independent candidate although he kept a relatively low profile. In recent months, he made headlines once again when he faced questions during parliament’s Public Accounts Committee about his time as minister responsible for the controversial power station project.
The Electrogas deal was the subject of a 500-page report by the National Audit Office which found a number of shortcomings in the selection process for that project and concluded that the due diligence process was “insufficient”, among other things.