Nationalist Party MP Frederick Azzopardi died on Saturday aged 71 after a period of ill health. 

The Gozitan MP worked in the public service between 1969 and 1998. In 1997 he was elected deputy mayor of Victoria.

He first contested the general elections in 1998, when he was elected to Parliament. He contested and was re-elected in each subsequent election. 

He formed part of the parliamentary delegations to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE PA).

He also previously served as deputy whip and parliamentary assistant within the Gozo ministry. 

He was married and had three children.

In a statement, the Nationalist Party offered condolences to his family and those close to him. Azzopardi, the party said, would always be remembered as a "great gentleman".  

Party leader Bernard Grech said Azzopardi had been an example of how to be of service to others.

"He was a politician who also kept the good of the Gozitan community at the heart of his work. The Gozitan people chose him as one of their representatives in one election after another. We have lost one of our own today."

Several colleagues also paid tribute to Azzopardi on Saturday evening.

Condolences were also offered by the Labour Party as well as the Speaker and his office.

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