Ministers seek to consolidate stronghold in Gozo with local council elections

Agriculture Minister Anton Refalo's 19-year-old daughter to contest elections with her father's backing.


The competition between three sitting Labour ministers in Gozo is in full swing as Agriculture Minister Anton Refalo, Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri, and Health Minister Jo Etienne Abela are working hard to strengthen their hold on constituents in the lead-up to the local council elections.

Simona Refalo, a 19-year-old law student and daughter of the longest-standing Labour MP Anton Refalo, is vying for the mayor’s seat in Xewkija. Simona is also a member of the Labour Party’s university student organisation Pulse.

She benefits from her father’s well-oiled campaign team. It is widely understood that Minister Refalo, 67, is preparing his daughter to take his place in parliament in the next general elections.

Simona Refalo first made headlines in 2022 when, during her birthday party, a picture taken at the event inadvertently revealed that her father had a stolen British-era VR marker kept illegally at his house. No action has been taken on the matter.

The stolen marker which came to light picture during Simona’s birthday party.

The competition

Health Minister Jo Etienne Abela will also use the upcoming local council elections to continue testing the waters.

His candidate is Mariella Abela, his brother’s wife, and his private secretary at the health ministry.

Described as the most influential person at the health ministry, Mariella Abela, a former facilitator in a government school, will be contesting the local council elections of Gozo’s capital, Victoria, vying for the mayorship, backed by the minister’s ‘canvassers’.

Jo Etienne Abela’s private secretary, Mariella Abela.

This has left Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri, the most popular Labour candidate in the last elections, with no choice but to back his candidates in the upcoming local elections and put up a fight.

Minister Clint Camilleri’s man in Nadur.

At least two members of his private secretariat, Corey Cardona and Noel Mizzi, are contesting the elections in Nadur and Qala, while Michael Buttigieg is Minister Camilleri’s man in Victoria (Rabat) for the local council elections.


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11 days ago

Wow the picture looked to me like one of the old “Wanted” posters and I was looking for the “Reward” column.
On a good day I would bet my pension that Gozo is the Mafia HQ in the Mediterranean, there can’t be any positions left there that they don’t control.

S. Camilleri
S. Camilleri
11 days ago

Looks like the establishment.

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