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President’s son stays out of the election race

President George Abela’s son, Robert, has chosen not to contest the forthcoming general election, opting for his legal profession over politics.

I’m not willing to abandon my legal profession
- Robert Abela

Dr Abela chose to serve the Labour Party from behind the scenes without being a candidate on the party’s ticket.

The young lawyer was cited as a possible star candidate for the Labour Party on the sixth district after heavyweight Marie Louise Coleiro Preca had initially declared she was retiring from the political scene.

Dr Abela, who is married to the Labour Party’s executive secretary, Lydia, told The Sunday Times yesterday he had chosen not to be a candidate for the forthcoming election.

“In reality, I was never a candidate but yes, I have chosen not to contest the upcoming general election as I am not willing to abandon my legal profession and my legal office,” he said, when contacted.

Dr Abela’s legal office, which he took over since his father became President, is busy with all the legal work of the Malta Environment and Planning Authority.

At the time, Dr Abela was being pushed by Labour leader Joseph Muscat as a potential replacement for Dr Coleiro Preca, who had also contested the 2008 PL leadership race.

Backed by several messages of support, the former PL general secretary changed her mind and will be contesting the sixth district, which includes Qormi, Siġġiewi and Luqa.

Dr Abela said his decision not to stand for the March election had “absolutely nothing to do” with Dr Coleiro Preca’s decision.

“You will see how I am, and I will be involved in the upcoming campaign, just not as a candidate,” he said.

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