George Abela favourite to become next President
George Abela is favourite to become the next President of Malta, informed sources have said.
Dr Abela is a former deputy leader of the Labour Party and last year was a candidate in the MLP leadership election, won by Joseph Muscat. He is also a close friend of Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, their friendship going back to their university days.
Dr Abela, a lawyer specialising in industrial relations, was legal adviser of the GWU for 25 years from 1975, when he graduated as lawyer.
He headed the Malta Football Association for 10 years from 1982 to 1992 and was then elected deputy leader (party affairs) of the Labour Party, helping the party to government in 1996. He dramatically resigned in 1998 when he opposed Dr Sant's decision to call an early election.
In the run-up to EU membership he also took a different line from the MLP and formed part of MEUSAC, the Malta-EU Action and Steering Committee.
Dr Abela reappeared in the MLP following Dr Sant's resignation, and after coming runner-up in the leadership election, he was reappointed to MEUSAC, this time representing the MLP.
Dr Abela was born in Qormi on April 22, 1948. He is married to Margaret nee Cauchi. They have two children, Robert and Maria.