Prime Minister announces new 24-person Cabinet

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 March, 2022 at 6:59 pm by Andre Camilleri

The Cabinet of Ministers has been appointed, with Prime Minister Robert Abela choosing a Cabinet that is a mixture of youth and experience, a Department of Information statement said. 

The main aim of the Cabinet is to implement the electoral programme, which was built on the need for a “more beautiful Malta, equal opportunities and better quality of life”. 

The statement said that Abela has given a temporary permission to surgeon Jo Etienne Abela to operate on patients who already have surgical appointments with him. 

The statement added that Abela will be considering other appointments when the gender-mechanism process to elect more women in Parliament is completed. 

Notable absentees were Edward Zammit Lewis and Carmelo Abela, both of whom were left out of the line-up.

Zammit Lewis, Justice Minister in the last legislature, was in deep controversy after whasapp messages revealed a close bond with the man accused of being a mastermind in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. In one of these messages, Zammit Lewis even referred to Labour voters as “fools” (Gahan).

Other elected MPs who held a portfolio but were not named in the new Cabinet were Michael Farrugia, who was Minister for the Elderly; and parliamentary secretaries Alex Muscat, who had been responsible citizenship, Deo Debattista, who was responsible for consumer protection, and Chris Agius, who was responsible for lands.

Michael Farrugia is being mentioned as a possible nominee for Speaker of the House of Representatives, replacing Anglu Farrugia.

Most ministers retained the portfolio they had in the past legislature, although some of the ministries had their name changed.

Chris Fearne remains Health Minister, Michael Falzon was retained in the Social Policy Ministry, with Children’s Rights added to the name; Anton Refalo remains Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animals Rights, while Roderick Galdes remains responsible for housing, now named Ministry for Social and Affordable Accommodation.

Carmelo Abela breached ethics with the publication of a newspaper advert that was intended to boost his image, rather than provide information of value to the public. He was also questioned by the police in connection with a heist at the HSBC main office, a link that Abela always denied.

Silvio Schembri retained the economy ministry, but now has European Funds and Lands under his responsibility too. Julia Farrugia Portelli kept the inclusion portfolio, with voluntary organisations and consumer rights under her care.

Clint Camilleri remained Gozo Minister, as Clayton Bartolo kept the tourism portfolio. Byron Camilleri remains responsible for home affairs, together with Security, Reforms and Equality. Clayde Caruana was kept as Finance Minister, with Clifton Grima, who took over as Education Minister in the final weeks of the past legislature, remaining in place.

Owen Bonnici was moved to a ministry which has responsibilities he had already overseen as minister in the past. He is now responsible for National Heritage, Arts and Local Government.

Ian Borg moves from infrastructure to the foreign ministry, taking over from Evarist Bartolo who was not elected.

Aaron Farrugia takes Borg’s place, while Miriam Dalli has the environment added to Energy and Enterprises.

Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi was promoted from parliamentary secretary to Minister of Public Works and Planning, with Jonathan Attard named Justice Minister and newcomer Jo Etienne Abela immediately given the title of minister, responsible for active aging.

The Cabinet is made up of 19 ministers and four parliamentary secretaries. 

The full Cabinet is as per below: 

Robert Abela – Prime Minister 

Chris Fearne – Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister 

Owen Bonnici – Minister for National Heritage, Arts, and Local Government 

Ian Borg – Minister for Foreign & European Affairs and Commerce 

Michael Falzon – Minister for Social Policy and Children’s Rights 

Anton Refalo – Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Animal Rights 

Roderick Galdes – Minister for Social & Affordable Accommodation 

Silvio Schembri – Minister for Economy, European Funds, and Lands 

Julia Farrugia Portelli – Minister for Inclusion, Voluntary Organisations, and Consumer Rights 

Aaron Farrugia – Minister for Transport, Infrastructure, and Capital Projects 

Clint Camilleri – Minister for Gozo 

Byron Camilleri – Minister for Home Affairs, Security, Reforms, and Equality 

Clayton Bartolo – Minister for Tourism 

Miriam Dalli – Minister for the Environment, Energy, and Enterprises 

Clyde Caruana – Minister for Finance and Employment

Clifton Grima – Minister for Education, Sport, Youths, and Research & Innovation 

Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi – Minister for Public Works and Planning 

Jonathan Attard – Minister for Justice 

Jo Etienne Abela – Minister for Active Ageing 

Parliamentary Secretaries 

Andy Ellul – Parliamentary Sectretary for Social Dialogue (within the Office of the Prime Minister) 

Alison Zerafa Civelli – Parliamentary for Local Government (within the Ministry for National Heritage, Arts, and Local Government) 

Chris Bonnett – Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds (within the Ministry for Economy, European Funds, and Lands) 

Keith Azzopardi Tanti – Parliamentary Secretary for Youths and Research & Innovation (within the Ministry for Education, Sport, Youths, and Research & Innovation)

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