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Ċumpaqq passes away

Former Nationalist MP and party whip, Carm Lino Spiteri, also known as Ċumpaqq, died yesterday. He was 75.

Mr Spiteri's political career took off in 1970 after both Nationalist and Labour leaders, George Borg Olivier and Dom Mintoff, approached him to contest the election on behalf of their respective parties. Mr Spiteri, an architect by profession, was well-known for the good relations he enjoyed with his political adversaries.

However, he also had a stormy relationship with the then Labour minister Lorry Sant - who punched the architect in the head while they were in Parliament after coming under verbal fire.

Mr Spiteri was first elected to Parliament in 1971 after a by-election. In 1976, he was elected on his own steam from one district, while in 1981 he sailed through in two districts. But in 1987, he unexpectedly failed to get elected.

The Mellieħa architect staged a comeback and got elected in 1992, when he was once again chosen to be parliamentary whip. He finally withdrew from the political scene after the 1996 election in which he was not elected, but remained interested in political debate.

Mr Spiteri was involved in numerous construction projects, including the new airport terminal at Gudja, and is remembered for having described the Planning Authority as a "monster" in Parliament back in 1992.

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