20 Sep, 2023 @ 15:01
1 min read

ELECTION 2023: All three parties bring in fresh blood as Gibraltar election campaigning starts in earnest

THE GSLP presented four new candidates for the October 12 election as the Liberals swapped out Steven Linares and the GSD put forward six new faces.

After Chief Minister Fabian Picardo announced the shortest possible four week campaigning period for the elections, he rang the changes in his party this week.

“Now is not the time to change the team that is getting things done and keeping Gibraltar safe,” Picardo said as he called the election on September 12.

But from its seven original candidates, only three remain: Picardo himself, party founder Joe Bossano and environmentalist John Cortes.

In the days after the caretaker Chief Minister announced the election, former ministers for the last 12 years Samantha Sacramento, Albert Isola and Paul Balban said they would not stand for re-election.

Long-term ex-teacher Pat Orfila, former mayor Christian Santos, lawyer Gemma Vasquez and insurance expert Nigel Feetham took their places.

In a late change on Tuesday night, GSLP coalition partners the Liberals brought in ambulance man Leslie Bruzon in place of the retiring Steven Linares.

Together Gibraltar decided to withdraw from the election altogether and said it would focus on its ‘grassroots efforts’ .

Interim leader Nicky Calamaro said he might stand as an independent candidate.

But one of TG’s 2019 election slate, Craig Sacarello, decided to join the GSD’s core team Keith Azopardi, Damon Bossino, Edwin Reyes and Roy Clinton.

Academic Daniella Tilbury, medical expert Youssef El Hana, Atrish Sanchez, lawyers Giovanni Origo and Joelle Ladislaus, joined them on the party’s slate.

Long-term MP and former GSD leader Daniel Feetham decided to leave front-line politics along with Elliot Phillips to make way for the new candidates.

Independent Robert Vasquez will once again stand for election even if he was the least voted for at the last election.

In a GBC poll before the parties announced their candidates, the GSD had a slim 2% lead over the GSLP/Liberals but over 30% were undecided.

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