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Azopardi seeks to renew mandate in leadership contest

GSD Leader Keith Azopardi has asked the party executive to convene a leadership election process as he made clear that he will fight any challenge to his leadership.

The GSD party Constitution requires that a leadership election be held after a general election if the party is not in Government.

The party rules set out that the process must be commenced at the latest by October 2020 although it can be sooner if the Leader so requests it.

Mr Azopardi requested the GSD’s Executive to set the process in motion, explaining that it was important run the “constitutionally necessary process” sooner rather than later so that there are no distractions from the work the Opposition team have to do in coming months and years.

In doing so he has made clear that he is seeking to continue as Leader and offering himself for election again to the Executive and Party members.

“I look forward to being involved in that work. There is a lot to do and I am excited and energised to do it,” he said.

The party’s Executive has established that the deadline for nominations for the post of Leader is noon on 31 January 2020.

Mr Azopardi’s nomination has been accepted by the Executive.

Any other eligible member wishing to contest the leadership would need to submit the completed nomination papers duly seconded by the requisite number of members and Executive Members by that date as set out in the Party Constitution.

Completed nomination papers should be submitted to the party Chairman, Freddie Ballester. This stage of the election process would be overseen by GSD MP Edwin Reyes.

Mr Azopardi said: “This is democracy in action. In the same way as we are the only Party in Gibraltar’s history to have run contested leadership elections we have an in-built mechanism in our Party Constitution that requires the Leader to seek to renew his mandate via a fresh leadership process after a general election.”

“I intend to offer myself to members again and, if re-elected, would intend to lead the Party into the next election.”