Robert Abela unveiled his new Cabinet on Wednesday.
His team will feature 17 ministers and eight parliamentary secretaries as well as himself as Prime Minister, for a total of 26 members.
In a statement issued through the Office of the Prime Minister, Dr Abela highlighted three key changes: the decision to combine the environment and planning into one portfolio; introducing law enforcement as a named brief as part of the Home Affairs portfolio; and combining EU and Foreign Affairs into one portfolio.
The ministers and parliamentary secretaries will take their oaths of office on Wednesday afternoon.
Previous role: Backbench MP
Dr Abela has jumped from the backbenches to the frontline without ever making it in Cabinet as a minister. The 42-year-old lawyer from Qormi is the son of president emeritus George Abela and has, until the PL’s leadership kept a low profile. He was first elected to Parliament in June 2017 and is married to Lydia Abela, who currently serves as executive secretary of the Labour Party.
Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister
Previous role: Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister
A paediatric surgeon by profession, Mr Fearne was first elected to public office as an MP following Labour’s 2013 electoral victory. He was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Health in April of 2014 and promoted to Health Minister two years later. He lost a Labour leadership race to Dr Abela last week and will remain in his previous post.
Foreign and EU Affairs Minister
Previous role: Education and Employment Minister
Mr Bartolo has been an MP in every legislature since 1992 and has served as Education Minister in three different legislatures. This will be the first time he serves with a different brief. The 67-year-old is remembered by some as head of news of the PL media and a De La Salle College teacher or University of Malta lecturer by others.
Edward Zammit Lewis
Justice, Equality and Governance Minister
Previous role: Equality Minister
Dr Zammit Lewis has hopped from one portfolio to another: elected to Parliament in 2013, he has been responsible for competitiveness and economic growth as parliamentary secretary, tourism, European affairs and equality as minister, and has now added justice to the list. He is a lawyer by profession, and mainly worked in the civil, commercial, administrative and constitutional areas.
Finance and Financial Services Minister
Previous role: Finance Minister
The oldest Cabinet member, Edward Scicluna is an economist by profession. He is one of the few who has retained the portfolio that he was entrusted with when elected in 2013. Before that, he was one of Malta’s MEPs. Internationally Scicluna has carried out consultancy work for the EU Commission, Unesco and the UN’s Environmental Programme, among others.
Economy, Investment and Small Business Minister
Previous role: Parliamentary secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation
The son of a Luqa mayor, Mr Schembri was elected to parliament in 2013 at the age of 27, unseating his uncle Charles Mangion. The following year he was appointed chair of the Responsible Gaming Foundation and following the 2017 election, he was entrusted with the role of parliamentary secretary for financial services. Schembri was president of the Pulse JC movement and public relations officer of the General Workers’ Union Youths’ Section.
Julia Farrugia Portelli
Previous role: Parliamentary secretary for Reforms, Citizenship and Simplification of Administrative Processes
Ms Farrugia Portelli worked for two decades in journalism and was the first female editor of a Maltese newspaper. She was elected to Parliament in 2017, following five years at Projects Malta Ltd. As Parliamentary Secretary she was mostly known for working on reforms pertaining to prostitution and cannabis as well as the reform granting 16-year-olds the vote.
Energy and Water Management Minister
Previous role: Home Affairs Minister
Like his colleague Evarist Bartolo, Farrugia was first elected as a member of parliament in 1992 and in all subsequent elections. But unlike Mr Bartolo, the medical doctor has had a colourful array of portfolios: in 1996 he was sworn in as Minister for Health, Care for the Elderly and Family Affairs. Since being elected to government in 2013, he has been entrusted with the Parliamentary Secretariat for Planning and Administrative Simplification, the Family and Social Solidarity Ministry, the Home Affairs and National Security Ministry and now the Energy Ministry.
Education and Employment Minister
Previous role: Justice, Culture and Local Government minister
First elected as an Opposition MP in 2008, Bonnici was made a Parliamentary Secretary for Justice in 2013 to Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government in 2014. He retained his portfolio when elected again in 2017.
Home Affairs, National Security and Law Enforcement Minister
Previous role: Labour Party whip
Byron Camilleri continues his rise up the political ladder. The 32-year-old lawyer was first elected to parliament in 2017 and was immediately made government whip during his maiden term as an MP. He will now be responsible for a large portfolio that includes the police and Armed Forces.
National Heritage, Arts and Local Government Minister
Previous role: Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Minister
Dr Herrera has served as an MP for the past two decades and will now serve in his fourth official role since 2013. That year, he was made parliamentary secretary for competitiveness and economic growth. One year later, he was parliamentary secretary for culture and local government. In 2017 he was made Environment Minister, responsible also for Sustainable Development and Climate Change.
Environment, Planning and Climate Change Minister
Previous role: Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue
Aaron Farrugia, an economist by training, has been active in the Labour Party since his youth, having led the Labour Youth Forum. He served as deputy mayor of Ta’ Xbiex and then went on to co-found Labour think-tank Fondazzjoni IDEAT. In 2017 he was elected to parliament for the first time and was made parliamentary secretary for EU Funds. This is his first ministerial position.
Agriculture, Fisheries, Animal Rights and Consumer Rights Minister
Previous role: Parliamentary secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights
The only Gozitan man in Cabinet, Mr Camilleri is an architect and civil engineer by profession, and a trapper in his free time. He successfully contested his first-ever local council election in 2012 and was elected mayor of Qala. He was subsequently elected to Parliament in 2017. Aged 31, he is one of the youngest members of Cabinet.
Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Minister
Previous role: Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Minister
Dr Borg continues where he left off under Joseph Muscat, with his portfolio largely unchanged. The Dingli lawyer was elected mayor of his hometown aged just 19 and then entered national politics in 2013, when he was made a parliamentary secretary responsible for Malta's EU Presidency.
Previous role: Gozo Minister
A lawyer by profession, Dr Caruana has formed part of parliament in every legislature since 2003. She was made Gozo Minister in 2017 and will continue in that role under Dr Abela. Between 2014 and 2017 she served as parliamentary secretary for active aging and disability.
Sustainable Development and Social Dialogue Minister within OPM
Previous role: Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Minister
Dr Abela was first elected to parliament in 1996 and has served as an MP in each successive legislature. He has enjoyed a varied political career, having served as deputy speaker, government whip and minister. His ministerial career saw him appointed Home Affairs Minister in 2014 and then Foreign Affairs Minister in 2017.
Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity Minister
Previous role: Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity Minister
Michael Falzon will remain in the post he was appointed to in 2017.
He was first elected to parliament in 2008 but already had a long career in Labour politics before that, having served as the party’s election manager, international secretary and deputy leader for party affairs over the previous 15 years. His first stint as a parliamentary secretary ended ignominiously in 2016, when he resigned over the Gaffarena scandal. In 2017 he was made a minister.
Social Accommodation Minister
Previous role: parliamentary secretary for social accommodation
Roderick Galdes was first elected to parliament in 2004 after a long career as a Labour councillor and mayor of Qormi. In 2013 he was made a parliamentary secretary for agriculture, fisheries and animal rights. Following Labour’s reelection in 2017, his brief was changed to social accommodation. He has now been promoted to a minister, responsible for that same portfolio.
Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi
Parliamentary secretary for EU Funds
Will report to: EU Affairs minister Evarist Bartolo
A lawyer by profession, the 46-year-old has served as former PL president and currently chairs the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation. He was first elected to parliament in 2017.
Parliamentary secretary for Financial Services and Digital Economy
Will report to: Finance Minister Edward Scicluna
Mr Bartolo started off as a member of the Labour Youth Forum and went on to serve as a councillor, and eventually deputy mayor, of the Mellieħa Local Council.
Parliamentary Secretary for Sports, Youth and Volunteering
Will report to: Education and Employment Minister Owen Bonnici
The former mayor of Msida took over Leo Brincat's seat in Parliament in 2016, through a casual election. A lawyer and Mount Carmel Hospital’s former CEO, he was entrusted with the parliamentary secretariat for sports when he was elected to parliament in 2017.
Parliamentary Secretary for Lands and Construction
Will report to: Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg
Chris Agius has successfully contested all elections since 1996. He joined the cabinet in 2014 as Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sports and in 2017 was entrusted with the Parliamentary Secretariat for Planning and the Property Market.
Parliamentary Secretary for Active Ageing and Disability
Will report to: Family Minister Michael Falzon
A former Paola mayor, Mr Parnis was appointed by Joseph Muscat to chair the Consultative Council for the South of Malta. As Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Communities, he launched the local government and enforcement reform.
Parliamentary Secretary for Equality and Reform
Will report to: Justice, Equality and Governance Minister Edward Zammit Lewis
A former reporter with Labour media outlet One, Ms Cutajar was elected Qormi mayor in 2012, and an MP in 2017. She piloted the introduction of a law allowing cremation.
Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Rights and Public Cleansing
Will report to: Agriculture, Fisheries and Consumer Rights Minister Clint Camilleri
A medical doctor by profession, Mr Debattista was first elected to Parliament in 2013 from the first electoral district but was only entrusted with a Parliamentary Secretariat in 2017. At one point he was also chair of the Occupational Health and Safety Authority.
Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship and Community
Will report to: Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri
The former minority leader of the Mosta local council has always been keen on politics: aged 16 he joined Pulse and was elected as student representative on the Junior College board. Together with Aaron Farrugia he founded Fondazzjoni IDEAT. He was elected to parliament for the first time in 2017.