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MaltaToday 6 April 2022 MIDWEEK

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2 NEWS maltatoday | WEDNESDAY • 6 APRIL 2022 2 NEWS KURT SANSONE FREDRICK Azzopardi will be leaving the public roads agency Infrastructure Malta sometime next month after captaining the transformation of Malta's road network over the past four years. Azzopardi confirmed with MaltaToday that he is working his notice period. "I had indi- cated my intention to leave last December but the government asked me to stay on until the election." He said that it was time for him to move on after leading Infra- structure Malta since its incep- tion in 2018. "Just like I had done when I was CEO at Enemalta, I oversaw the period of transfor- mation and then moved on. I felt it was time for me to move on," Azzopardi said. Azzopardi, an engineer by pro- fession, denied rumours that his future will be with con- struction magnate Joseph Portelli, or any other con- struction company. "I have a job lined up and it is not in the construction indus- try," he said. Infrastructure Malta was set up in 2018 to fulfil an elector- al pledge to overhaul Malta's road network with a €700 mil- lion budget spread over seven years. Road projects ranged from residential roads to major arteries. Some of the more significant projects included the Marsa multi-level junction, the Santa Lucija underpass and the Central Link. However, the agency repeat- edly came under fire from en- vironmental activists and resi- dents over projects that took up agricultural land and led to trees being uprooted. Azzopardi was often singled out for his brash attitude when dealing with res- idents and activists opposed to IM's plans. The agency has defended itself by insisting that the overhaul of the road network was necessary to make roads safer and reduce congestion. It also planted thousands of trees and shrubs alongside new roads to make up for trees lost but Azzopardi remained a controversial figure receiving praise and criticism in equal measure. He was applauded by many for his can-do attitude but reviled by activists for his arrogant ways. End of the road for Infrastructure Malta boss Fredrick Azzopardi 'It's time for me to move on': Fredrick Azzopardi will be leaving Infrastructure Malta in the coming weeks • Denies his future is in construction Fredrick Azzopardi KURT SANSONE NOMINATIONS for those in- terested in contesting the seven casual elections to fill seats va- cated by Nationalist MPs elect- ed on two districts have opened today. The notice published by the Electoral Commission on the Government Gazette states that casual elections will be held to fill vacant seats on the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 10th dis- tricts. On the 7th and 9th dis- tricts, two casual elections will be held. The period for nominations closes on Saturday and the casual elections will be held next week. The nominations opened af- ter President George Vella on Monday signed the writ to kick-start the casual elections process for seats vacated by PN MPs. Nationalist Party leader Ber- nard Grech gave up his seat on the 5th District, while Ste- phen Spiteri gave up the 3rd District seat. On the 7th Dis- trict, the vacated seats of Ryan Callus and Adrian Delia are up for grabs, while on the 9th District the PN has to fill seats vacated by Robert Arrigo and Joe Giglio. The last vacancy is on the 10th District after Mark Anthony Sammut gave up his seat. The PN statute stipulates that dual-candidacy MPs have to give up the district on which they have the lowest share of first count votes as a percent- age of the respective district quota. This system removes any interference by the party in deciding which seats MPs have to give up. Meanwhile, nominations for the casual elections triggered by dual-candidacy Labour MPs close today and the elections are likely to be held on Thurs- day. Casual elections will be held on the 2nd District seat vacat- ed by Clyde Caruana, the 3rd District vacated by Owen Bon- nici, the 4th District vacated by Chris Fearne, the 5th District vacated by Robert Abela, the 6th vacated by Ian Borg, the 7th vacated by Silvio Schembri, two seats on the 9th District vacated by Michael Falzon and Clifton Grima, and the 11th va- cated by Miriam Dalli. Nominations open for PN casual elections The Electoral Commission will be holding seven casual elections to fill seats vacated by dual- candidacy PN MPs

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