A former Labour general election candidate said on Wednesday he was glad to no longer form part of the Labour Party, after failing to make it to parliament through a casual election.

Charles Azzopardi was the first to be eliminated in the casual election on Tuesday, despite having been seen to be in pole position to win the seat vacated by former minister Edward Scicluna.

Times of Malta revealed last week that although Azzopardi, a former Rabat mayor, had contested the 2017 general election as a Labour candidate, he became a member of the Nationalist Party after Labour banned him from its electoral list for the European Parliament elections in 2019. 

The casual election on Tuesday was won by Gavin Gulia, who then surprisingly resigned from Parliament within minutes of being sworn in as an MP, opening the door for a parliamentary co-option by the government. 

In a Facebook post on Wednesday after Gulia's sudden resignation, Azzopardi said he had known that he would be unsuccessful in the casual election because during the general election in June 2017 he and his wife had witnessed a blatant block vote against him in Rabat.

Azzopardi said that the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia (in October 2017) was a confirmation of how democracy itself had been killed. The future of the country appeared to be in danger, Azzopardi said.

He said it was incredible that the prime minister wanted to be the one to choose who should sit in parliament. 

“Don’t call me any longer. Prime minister do not contact me again and do not send me messages and people at home. Leave me in peace and quiet,” Azzopardi said, adding that he was not the stupid man some made him out to be.

“Do not deceive your people. I am proud that I am no longer one of you,” he wrote.

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