Dom Mintoff


Dom Mintoff
Dom Mintoff
11th Prime Minister of Malta
In office
1955–1958
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by Ġorġ Borġ Olivier
Succeeded by office abolished
14th Prime Minister of Malta
In office
1971–1976
Monarch Elizabeth II (until 1974)
President Anthony Mamo
Preceded by Ġorġ Borġ Olivier
15th Prime Minister of Malta
In office
1976–1981
President Anthony Mamo
Anton Buttigieg
16th Prime Minister of Malta
In office
1981–1984
President Anton Buttigieg
Albert Hyzler (acting)
Agatha Barbara
Succeeded by Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici
Personal details
Born August 6, 1916 (1916-08-06) (age 95)
Bormla, Malta
Political party Labour (PL)
Spouse(s) Moira Mintoff (née) Bentinck

Dom Mintoff (born Dominic Mintoff, Maltese Duminku Mintoff; sometimes referred to simply as il-Perit (the architect); August 6, 1916) is a Maltese politician, journalist and architect, who served as leader of the Labour Party from 1949 to 1984, Prime Minister of Malta from 1955 to 1958 (when Malta was still a British crown colony) and again, post-Independence, from 1971 to 1984.[1] Mintoff's time as Prime Minister was notable for a general increase in the average standard of living[2] and the establishment of a comprehensive welfare state.[3][4]

Contents

Early life and education

Dom Mintoff was born in Bormla. He was a seminarian for a time before deciding not to pursue the priesthood and enrol at the University of Malta. He graduated Bachelor of Science (1937) and, later, as an architect and civil engineer (1939). That same year he received a scholarship and pursued his studies at Hertford College, Oxford University from where he received a Masters in Science and Engineering in 1943.

Early political career (1935-49)

After a brief stint as an official of the Bormla Labour Party club, Mintoff was Labour's Secretary General between 1935 and 1945 (resigning briefly to pursue his studies abroad). He was first elected to public office in 1945 to the Government Council. In the same year, Mintoff was elected Deputy Leader of the Party with such a wide margin that placed him in an indisputable position as the successor, if not a challenger, to the Leader Paul Boffa.

After restoration of responsible government and a Labour victory at the polls in 1947, Mintoff was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Works and Reconstruction, overseeing large post-War public projects.

Leader of the Labour Party (1949-84)

However, Mintoff's strong position and ambition led to a series of Cabinet crises. A split in the Labour Party came about when Boffa, who was ready for compromise and moderation with the colonial authorities, resigned and formed the Malta Workers Party and Mintoff refounded the Labour Party as the "Malta Labour Party" of which he assumed leadership. The split resulted in the weakening of both parties and it was not until 1955 after remaining out of government for three consecutive legislatures, that the Labour Party was elected in office with Mintoff as Prime Minister.

This government's main political platform -- integration with the UK -- led to a deterioration of the Party's relations with the Catholic Church, leading to interdiction by the Church. The Labour Party lost the subsequent two elections in 1962 and 1966 and boycotted the Independence celebrations in 1964. The Party was returned to power in 1971 and reelected in 1976 with a clear majority.

Apart from the premiership, between 1971 and 1981 Mintoff also held responsibility for foreign and Commonwealth affairs. In this role between 1971 and 1972 he personally led negotiations with the British government over the closure of the military base which took place in 1979. He also established close cultural and economic ties with Colonel Gaddafi's Libya[5].

For the 1981 elections, the opposition Nationalist Party, reinvigorated with a new leader, looked set for a serious challenge to Mintoff. In fact, in that election, the Partit Nazzjonalista managed an absolute majority of votes, but probably gerrymandered districts meant that it managed only 31 seats to the Labour Party's 34. Mintoff said that he would not be ready to govern in such conditions and hinted that he would call for fresh elections within six months. However, this was not to be: Mintoff eventually accepted the President's invitation to form a government.

This led to a political crisis whose effects continued through much of the 1980s, as well as increasing political violence in the street such as the Black Monday incident.

Labour backbencher (1984-1998)

Mintoff resigned as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party in 1984, while retaining his Parliamentary seat and remaining a government backbencher. He was succeeded by Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici. Mintoff was instrumental in convincing his parliamentary colleagues to support constitutional amendments ensuring a parliamentary majority for the party achieving an absolute majority of votes. A repeat of 1981 was thus avoided, and the Partit Nazzjonalista went on to win the 1987 elections. The Labour Party went into opposition for the first time in sixteen years.

Mintoff successfully contested the 1987, 1992 and 1996 elections. He generally held a low profile whether or not his Party was in power. However, there was a growing rift between Mintoff, seen as Old Labour, and Alfred Sant, the new Labour Leader. Things came to a head in 1998 when the Labour government was negotiating the lease of sealine to be developed in a yacht marina in Birgu. Mintoff eventually voted against the government's motion which was defeated.

The President, acting on Prime Minister Sant's advice dissolved Parliament and elections were held. This was the first time, since the war, that Mintoff's name was not on the ballot paper and the Malta Labour Party, divided and deep in mid-term blues, lost heavily.

Post-parliamentary (1998 to date)

Since retiring from parliamentary politics, Mintoff's involvement in public life has only been occasional. He made some appearances in the referendum campaign on Malta's membership to the EU and, with Alfred Sant being replaced in 2008, some rapproachment with Labour was made.

Mintoff was awarded the 2008 Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights.

Personal Life

Mintoff was married to the late Moyra de Vere Bentinck[6] whom he had met during his studies in Oxford and had two daughters, Anne and Yana.

He is also well-known for his love of horses, swimming and boċċi.

See also


References

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Giorgio Borg Olivier
Prime Minister of Malta
1955–1958
Succeeded by
Office abolished
Preceded by
Giorgio Borg Olivier
Prime Minister of Malta
1971–1984
Succeeded by
Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici
Party political offices
Preceded by
Paul Boffa
Leader of the Labour Party
1949–1984
Succeeded by
Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici

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  • Dom Mintoff — (eigentlich Dominic Mintoff, maltesisch Duminku Mintoff; * 6. August 1916 in Cospicua) ist der bedeutendste maltesische Politiker des 20. Jahrhunderts. Vor allem in den 1970er und 1980er Jahren fand er internationale Beachtung. Mehrmals war er… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Mintoff — Dom Mintoff, mit vollem Namen Dominic Mintoff (maltesisch: Duminku Mintoff) (* 6. August 1916 in Cospicua), ist der bedeutendste maltesische Politiker des 20. Jahrhunderts. Vor allem in den 1970er und 1980er Jahren fand er internationale… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • MINTOFF (D.) — MINTOFF DOMINIC, dit DOM MINTOFF (1916 ) D’origine modeste, Dominic Mintoff fait des études à Oxford et devient architecte. Entré au Parti travailliste maltais en 1944, il devient député, puis ministre du Travail en 1947. Il démissionne du… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Dom — may refer to: Contents 1 People 2 Fictional characters 3 Other uses …   Wikipedia

  • Mintoff, Dom — ▪ prime minister of Malta born Aug. 6, 1916, Cospicua, Malta       leader of Malta s Labour Party who served twice as prime minister (1955–58; 1971–84).       Educated at the University of Malta and Hertford College, Oxford, Mintoff was general… …   Universalium

  • Mintoff — Mịntoff,   Dominic (Dom), maltesischer Politiker, * Cospicua 6. 8. 1916; Ingenieur, später Architekt; Mitglied der »Malta Labour Party«; 1947 in die gesetzgebende Versammlung Maltas gewählt, war 1947 49 stellvertretender Ministerpräsident, 1949… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Mintoff — /ˈmɪntɒf/ (say mintof) noun Dom(inic), born 1916, Maltese politician; prime minister of Malta 1955–58 and 1971–84 …   Australian English dictionary

  • Dominic Mintoff — Dom Mintoff, mit vollem Namen Dominic Mintoff (maltesisch: Duminku Mintoff) (* 6. August 1916 in Cospicua), ist der bedeutendste maltesische Politiker des 20. Jahrhunderts. Vor allem in den 1970er und 1980er Jahren fand er internationale… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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