Open main menu

Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici, KUOM (born 17 July 1933) is a Maltese politician who served as Prime Minister of Malta from December 1984 to May 1987.[1] He is a member of the Labour Party. He studied law at the University of Malta.

Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici

9th Prime Minister of Malta
In office
22 December 1984 – 12 May 1987
PresidentAgatha Barbara
Paul Xuereb (acting)
Preceded byDom Mintoff
Succeeded byEddie Fenech Adami
Personal details
Born (1933-07-17) 17 July 1933 (age 86)
Cospicua, Malta
Political partyLabour Party

Early politicsEdit

Mifsud Bonnici's family staunchly supported the Nationalist Party. His brother Antoine was a Nationalist MP and Parliamentary Secretary while a cousin, Ugo Mifsud Bonnici, was a Nationalist MP, Minister and President of Malta. In the 1960s, at the height of the dispute between the Maltese Church and the Labour Party, Mifsud Bonnici was an official of a number of lay organisations connected to the Church and supported the "diocesan junta" of Church organisations opposing Dom Mintoff and his Party. He would later claim to be "a Nationalist by birth, but a Labourite through free choice and conviction".[citation needed]

Labour PartyEdit

In 1980, he was appointed as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and in 1982 appointed Designate Leader and co-opted into Parliament and assigned the Ministry of Employment and Social Services. Later, he was assigned the Ministry of Education, a responsibility he held until 1986. In 1984, he was sworn in as Prime Minister, thus becoming the first Maltese Prime Minister since independence to be sworn in without actually standing for a general election. In 1985, he was the lead negotiator in the hijacking of EgyptAir Flight 648 in which 60 of the 92 passengers were killed.[2][3]

His tenure as Prime Minister was seen as a continuation of the Mintoff years (he even retained the same Cabinet). Political violence persisted, heightened and made more intense by the fact that the elections of 1987 were approaching. Relations with the church deteriorated further on two fronts: the enactment of a Bill to seize church property without compensation, and attempts by the government to take control of church schools. In 1984, a demonstration by some workers of the Malta Drydocks, at which Mifsud Bonnici was present, climaxed when the offices of the Maltese Curia were ransacked after the demonstration had ended. He responded by calling the workers "the aristocracy of the working class". Mifsud Bonnici narrowly lost the 1987 elections serving as Leader of the Opposition until 1992 when, following a second defeat, he resigned. He held his seat until the following election in 1996. He has not contested any general elections since.[citation needed]

Later yearsEdit

In 2003, during the referendum campaign for the entry of the country into the European Union, Mifsud Bonnici formed the Campaign for National Independence (CNI) and later joined the Front Maltin Inqumu (Maltese Arise Front) to oppose Malta's membership in the EU. He opposed the ratification of the European Constitution, but his motion at the Labour Party's General Conference in 2005 was rejected by the delegates. He has since maintained a low profile within the party while retaining a role in the CNI.


National HonoursEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Conservative will lead Malta". Star-News. 13 May 1987. p. 6A. Retrieved 4 November 2010.
  2. ^ "Anniversary of a massacre - The EgyptAir hijack in Malta". Times of Malta. 23 November 2010. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  3. ^ "10 Most Terrifying Airplane Hijackings of All Time". Criminal Justice Degrees Guide. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
Political offices
Preceded by
Dominic Mintoff
Prime Minister of Malta
Succeeded by
Eddie Fenech Adami
Party political offices
Preceded by
Dominic Mintoff
Leader of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Alfred Sant