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Azopardi and Bossino say they will contest GSD leadership election

Damon Bossino and Keith Azopardi during a GSD press conference in the general election. Photo by Johnny Bugeja

The GSD’s Keith Azopardi and Damon Bossino said they intend to stand in a leadership election that was announced on Friday.

GSD leader Mr Azopardi triggered the contest in line with the party’s constitution and confirmed he wished to stay in the role.

Hours after the announcement, Mr Bossino also confirmed to the Chronicle that he would put his name forward.

Roy Clinton, another potential candidate who contested the last leadership vote in 2017 and lost to Mr Azopardi, would not be drawn either way at this stage when asked if he would stand or rule himself out.

Potential candidates have until November 17 to confirm they will contest the election.

Under the GSD constitution, a leadership election needs to be held within 12 months of an election if the party loses.

Mr Azopardi asked the party executive on Thursday to put the process in motion, with the deadline for nominations set for noon on Friday November 17.

To be eligible for nomination a party member must have been a member of the GSD for two years, be proposed by 20 members and seconded by two executive members.

The election is by weighted voting, with 40% of the vote earmarked for the executive and 60% for the membership.

“Having a leadership election after a general election is required by the party constitution,” Mr Azopardi said.

“I asked the executive to put the process in place now rather than wait 12 months because I think it’s important to undertake this democratic process at an early stage so that the party can then concentrate on the necessary political work that needs to be done.”

“I confirmed to the executive my wish to continue as leader and my name has gone forward in that process.”

Mr Bossino said it was good that the leadership election had been called soon after the general election, in which the GSD secured eight seats in Parliament to the government’s nine.

“I welcome that the process of electing a new leader has commenced sooner rather than later,” Mr Bossino told the Chronicle.

“My intention is to put my name forward to usher in the change and style of leadership which will take the party forward to future electoral success.”

“I make my intention known subject to being satisfied that the internal rules and procedures are in order so that we are confident that what we are entering into is a fair and transparent process, which I trust will be achieved.”

For his part, Mr Clinton left open the possibility of his entering the contest too.

“The deadline is November 17 and I’ll make that decision by then,” he told the Chronicle.

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