Former Labour Minister, Speaker, Daniel Micallef dies aged 94

Micallef was a long-standing Labour MP and served as a Speaker of the House for four years

Daniel Micallef (Left) meets Guido De Marco and Agatha Barbara (Right)
Daniel Micallef (Left) meets Guido De Marco and Agatha Barbara (Right)

Daniel Micallef, a respected general practitioner and former Labour minister from Rabat, died at the age of 94. 

Micallef started as a member of the Christian Workers Party, which was founded as an alternative to Dom Mintoff's Labour Party. He was first elected to the Maltese Parliament in 1962. 

He was regarded as a moderate voice during the Mintoff years, which were characterised by a hostile political climate.

Micallef left the CWP in 1966 and joined the Labour Party, getting elected to Parliament in 1971, 1976, 1981, and 1986. He also held the position of Speaker of the House from 1982 to 1986.

When the PN boycotted the opening of Parliament in February 1982 in protest against the contentious election outcome a few months earlier, he was pushed into the spotlight as Speaker amid one of Malta's largest constitutional crises.

In 1986, he was appointed Minister of Education, Culture, and the Environment, but he held this position only for a year as the PL lost the general election. 

During this time, in the last years of Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici’s government, he raised several crucial environmental issues while setting up the agency known as IDEA. He was respected by environment NGOs but was in constant conflict with the labour party’s environmental policies.

In April 1982 Micallef served as acting President of the Republic and in 1997 he was appointed Ambassador to the Holy See and to the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem.

Together with his wife Pauline, Daniel Micallef had seven children, Mark, Paul, Daniel, Marika, Denise, Isabelle, and Bernardette.

'One who shaped strong socialist principles of the Party' - The Labour Party

In a press statement, the Labour Party remembered the memory of Micallef. 

“Micallef throughout his life will be remembered as one who shaped strong socialist principles of the Party,” said the PL.

The Labour Party sent its sincere condolences to the Deputy Leader for Party Affairs, Daniel Micallef and those closest to him.

On Facebook, Prime Minister Robert Abela also offered his condolences while remembering Micallef for his firm socialist and environmental principles.

Opposition Leader Bernard Grech recalled Daniel Micallef as a person of principles and values, who always put people first in all his work, whether it was political or medical.

Heartbroken Daniel Micallef, Labour Party's Deputy Leader for Party Affairs, also remembered his uncle in an emotional post on Facebook where he also shared a rare picture of his uncle.