Malta could have its first female opposition leader after Therese Comodini Cachia was named by her fellow MPs as their choice to replace Adrian Delia.

If she takes the oath, it will be the third political role the 47-year-old lawyer has held in just three years: going from MEP to MP to leader of the opposition.

Comodini Cachia graduated as a lawyer in 1997, subsequently focusing on cases of human rights violations. She has fought cases both in the Maltese courts and the European Court of Human Rights. She is also a senior lecturer on public law at the University of Malta.

Despite failing to get elected in the 2013 general election, Comodini Cachia went on to win a seat in the European Parliament.

Among other tasks, she served as EP rapporteur for a law to clamp down on copyright and helped the Nationalist Party draft a private members’ bill to increase safeguards against LGBT+ discrimination.

The lawyer put her human rights expertise into practice and was often vocal when violations against migrants were reported.

Just three years ago, it appeared as though she might not be interested in a return to local politics despite winning a seat during the 2017 general election. She first said she had chosen to remain in Brussels but changed her mind after fierce criticism from her constituents in the eighth district. 

Announcing her decision to resign as MEP, she said: "I entered politics to serve the people, where they want me." 

Under former PN leader Simon Busuttil's tenure, she served as shadow minister for education. 

She is part of the legal team representing the family of slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in court proceedings.

Outspoken critic

In recent months, as Delia continued to face mounting pressure to step down amid repeated poor performances in the polls, Comodini Cachia has been one of the few MPs to comment publicly on the matter. 

In February, she had written a scathing letter to Delia accusing him of living in a “parallel reality which is fake and unsupported by facts”.

“How can you take yourself and all of us for a ride, but above all how dare you fail to understand that you cannot fulfil your role as leader of the Opposition and leader of this party anymore?”

This week she seconded the motion of no confidence in Delia put forward by fellow MP Chris Said.

Writing in Times of Malta last February, Comodini Cachia said:

"Blindly plodding on simply does not cut it. Had I chosen to be blind, dumb and deaf, I would not be fulfilling those obligations which I was elected to fulfil."

Last Tuesday, she publicly came out against Delia's decision to ask the police to investigate Times of Malta over who the source of leaked WhatsApp messages between him and murder suspect Yorgen Fenech. 

"Journalists and their sources should not be the target. Their responsibility is to provide us with the truth irrespective of who provided it. The truth is what this country needs," she said. 


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