Simon Busuttil

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Simon Busuttil

EPP Malta Congress 2017 ; 29 March (33676407246).jpg
Busuttil at a March 2017 EPP Malta Congress
Leader of the Opposition
In office
13 May 2013 4 October 2017
PresidentMarie Louise Coleiro Preca
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Preceded by Lawrence Gonzi (Acting); Joseph Muscat
Succeeded by Adrian Delia
Leader of the Nationalist Party
In office
8 May 2013 15 September 2017
Preceded by Lawrence Gonzi
Succeeded by Adrian Delia
Member of the European Parliament
In office
12 June 2004 10 March 2013
Personal details
Born (1969-03-20) 20 March 1969 (age 51)
Attard, State of Malta
Political party Nationalist Party
Children3 [1]
Alma mater University of Malta
University of Sussex [ citation needed ]

Simon Busuttil, MP MOM (born 20 March 1969) is a Maltese politician who was Leader of the Opposition within the Maltese Parliament. [2] He also served as a Leader of the Nationalist Party [3] and a Member of the European Parliament for the Malta constituency. [4] In April 2020, he was appointed as Secretary-General of the European People's Party. [5]

Contents

Education

Busuttil, who is from Lija, graduated as Doctor of Laws (University of Malta, 1993), MA in European Studies (University of Sussex, 1994) and Magister Juris in International Law (University of Malta, 1995). [6] [7] [8] As a student he was President of the Maltese Christian Democrat Students, SDM (1989–91), Student Representative on the Senate of the University of Malta (1991–92) and International Secretary of the Maltese National Youth Council (1992). [9] [10]

Career

Busuttil served as an adviser on EU affairs to a number government Ministries and as a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta before being appointed Head of the Malta-EU Information Centre (MIC) and member of the Core Negotiating Group (negotiating Malta's membership in the EU) and the Malta-EU Steering and Action Committee (MEUSAC) in 1999. [11] [12]

Member of the European Parliament

In 2004 Busuttil was elected as an MEP with the Nationalist Party in the election for the European Parliament. [13] He was the first Maltese MEP to address the European Parliament, delivering a speech on 21 July 2004. [14] He was again successful in the 2009 election. [15]

As an MEP he was a member of the bureau of the European People's Party (EPP) and sat on various committees including the European Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control and its Committee on Budgets. [16] Within the EPP he led the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee and covered issues that include the common European immigration and asylum policy. [17]

He was also a substitute for the Committee on Regional Development, a substitute for the temporary committee on policy challenges and budgetary means of the enlarged Union 2007–2013, vice-chair of the delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries and the Arab Maghreb Union (including Libya), and a member of the delegation to the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly. [18]

Deputy Leader of the Nationalist Party and MP

In 2012 he was elected Deputy Leader of the Nationalist Party following the resignation of Tonio Borg. He was elected an MP in the 2013 general election. [19]

Leader of the nationalist Party

Busuttil at a December 2013 EPP Summit EPP Summit; Meise, Dec. 2013 (11451086046).jpg
Busuttil at a December 2013 EPP Summit

Immediately after the elections, incumbent Leader Lawrence Gonzi announced that he would not be seeking re-election for the role of leader of the Nationalist Party. Four candidates presented themselves for leadership these being Mario De Marco, Raymond Bugeja, Francis Zammit Dimech and Simon Busuttil. [20] On 4 May 2013, Busuttil obtained 50.3% of the votes while Mario De Marco obtained 38.5% and conceded the race, leaving Busuttil de facto leader elect. [21] A further vote was taken on 8 May in order for him to officially receive 2/3 of the votes, the threshold required by the election rules. [22] Simon Busuttil was confirmed Leader having attained the two thirds threshold. [23] [24]

Busuttil lashed out at the postponement of the Maltese Local Council Elections to the year 2019. [25] [26]

During August 2015, some PN officials, namely Ivan Bartolo, [27] Noel Grima, [28] and Ray Bugeja [27] heading certain party fora, expressed disappointment at the party leader, in light of affairs highlighted by Politico in relation to the Government's Citizenship Investment Programme.

Busuttil during EPP Summit, 2015 EPP Summit, March 2015, Brussels (16655864817).jpg
Busuttil during EPP Summit, 2015

On 25 November 2016 the Nationalist Party won a constitutional appeal in court to grant two extra seats in the Parliament of Malta. [29]

Busuttil began the campaign on 1 May 2017, posing a choice between Joseph Muscat and Malta. [30] He claimed that the elections were a matter of trust, not just proposals, and that the opposing proposals were unrealistic. [31] He opined that Muscat called the snap election to evade justice. [32]

Busuttil led the General Election campaign based on the battle on corruption and the importance of Rule of Law. [33] On 19 May 2017 Busuttil presented evidence against Adrian Hillman and Keith Schembri with regards to illegal transactions worth €650,000. [34]

Busuttil contested the 11th and 12th Electoral Districts in the 2017 Maltese general election. [35] On 4 June 2017, after polls on the previous day, it was clear that the Malta Labour Party had increased its majority by 55%, heavily defeating the Nationalist Party. [36] As leader, Busuttil conceded defeat. [37]

On 5 June 2017, a day after the results of the general election were announced, Busuttil announced his resignation as leader of the Nationalist Party alongside the entire party administration following a second consecutive loss of a general election. At a press conference he stated that the Nationalist Party needs new leadership and that he would stay on until a new leader is elected and sworn in as Opposition leader. [38] He met party activists on 6 June 2017 and explained that there will be a more open procedure for electing the new leadership. [39]

Backbencher

On 17 September 2017 he was succeeded by Dr. Adrian Delia as leader of the Nationalist Party whilst being succeeded by him on 4 October 2017 as Leader of the Opposition.

On 3 February 2018 Delia appointed Busuttil as Shadow Minister for Good Governance. [40] [41]

Allegations regarding the ownership of the Egrant account made by Busuttil had risked the economic, political, and social stability of Malta and had nearly caused a revolt by his supporters. The Busuttil allegations were propagated in the Council of Europe and thus forced The Prime Minister to instigate a magisterial investigation to clear his wife's good name. In the meantime, these serious allegations precipitated an early election which was won in an historic landslide victory by Joseph Muscat and the Labour Party. Further to the conclusions of the magisterial inquiry, Joseph Muscat demanded that the Busuttil resigns from all his political responsibilities both in Malta and abroad. [42] Adrian Delia removed Busuttil from Shadow Minister for Good Governance and asked him to resign. [43] [44] The Good Governance portfolio was assumed by Delia himself. [45] Busuttil warned Delia that he should not side with Muscat and refused to suspend himself. [46] The Administrative Council of the Nationalist Party met later during 22 June 2018 in order to discuss the events, and backed Delia's request to Busuttil, asking the latter to make way so that the party can move on in an effective matter, as no one can be considered bigger than the party. [47] Busuttil's former deputies, however, Mario de Marco and Beppe Fenech Adami, supported him saying that the party should unite for greater strength. [48] Other MPs that lent their name to this cause included Claudette Buttigieg, Therese Comodini Cachia, Marthese Portelli, Claudio Grech, Karol Aquilina, Karl Gouder and Jason Azzopardi, as well as MEP David Casa. [49] MEP Roberta Metsola requested that the matter was discussed within party organs. [50] MP Chris Said offered to mediate the situation. [51] In January 2020, Busuttil was appointed Secretary General of the EPP Group in the European Parliament and will thus resign his parliamentary seat in the Parliament of Malta. [52]

Decorations

National

Others

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References

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Party political offices
Preceded by
Tonio Borg
Deputy Leader of the Nationalist Party
2012–2013
Succeeded by
Beppe Fenech Adami
Preceded by
Lawrence Gonzi
Leader of the Nationalist Party
2013–2017
Succeeded by
Adrian Delia