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Gonzi sworn in as Opposition Leader - PN to start process for election of new leader

Lawrence Gonzi was sworn in as Leader of the Opposition this afternoon.

The ceremony was held at the Palace in Valletta before President George Abela.

Dr Gonzi was Speaker of the House between 1988 and 1996, a minister from 1998 to 2004 and Prime Minister between 2004 and the general election held earlier this month.

He has said he will not seek re-election as PN leader and will resign as Leader of the Opposition once a new PN leader is appointed.

In comments after the swearing-in, Dr Gonzi said the Opposition was committed to working in the national interest, with the immediate priorities being the early convening of Parliament and the approval of the Budget.

The quick approval of the Budget, he said, had assumed even more importance in view of the international situation, especially in Cyprus.

The Opposition would vote in favour of the Budget as long as there were no changes other than an amendment to ensure that minimum wage earners did not pay income tax.

Dr Gonzi described his appointment as temporary and said the PN executive would meet tomorrow to start the process for the election of a new party leader.

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