Biography: A record Gonzi wants to avoid
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Biography: A record Gonzi wants to avoid

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi will be fighting this election hoping he will not become the first man in Maltese history to have held all posts in the House of Representatives.

Dr Gonzi, 55, was Speaker of the House between 1988 and 1996. He then served as MP and whip between 1996 and 1998 and became a minister after the 1998 general election and deputy prime minister in May 1999. He was also Leader of the House and became Prime Minister on March 23, 2004.

The only post he has not held is that of Leader of the Opposition.

Born on July 1,1953, Dr Gonzi, a nephew of Archbishop Michael Gonzi, practiced law between 1975 and 1988. Between 1989 and 1997 he was chairman of the Mizzi Organisation.

He was president of the Malta Catholic Action from 1976 to 1986 and was also actively involved in organisations promoting the welfare of persons with disability.

Dr Gonzi unsuccessfully contested the 1987 general election but found himself in Parliament a year later, succeeding Jimmy Farrugia as Speaker. He was unanimously re-elected to the Chair in 1992, winning praise even from the Opposition benches. His terms as Speaker were characterised by reform of the Speaker's Office, amendments to Standing Orders and his successful chairmanship of what became known as the Gonzi Commission on electoral reform.

He was elected to the House in 1996 but the PN was relegated to the opposition. He became the party's general secretary, taking over from Austin Gatt.

With the PN back in government in 1998 he served as Social Policy Minister and Leader of the House. From 1999 he also became Deputy Prime Minister after Prof de Marco resigned to become President.

Dr Gonzi then succeeded Eddie Fenech Adami as Prime Minister in 2004.

Dr Gonzi is married to Kate, nee Callus.They have three children.

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