Thursday, May 07, 2009

Gibraltarian LibDem candidate in June Euro parliament elections

I read with great interest, that Gibraltarian Jonathan Stagnetto (on the right) has put himself forward as a candidate and will be standing for election in the forthcoming vote for the European Parliament in the Gibraltar and South West England Region constituency on 4th June 2009!

I am particularly delighted, being a long time LibDem supporter myself, to see he will be standing as part of the list of the UK Liberal Democrats.

A report in Friday's edition of the Gibraltar Chronicle said Mr Stagnetto "hopes Gibraltar’s electorate and voters in England’s south-west region will make him the first Gibraltarian MEP... and so do I!

Mr Stagnetto, who is married and has four children, comes from a very well known, highly respected and liked local family. He is the founder and managing director of Form-A-Co a Trust management business dealing with the registration of yachts, businesses, residency and offshore related matters in Gibraltar.

Gibraltar's Liberal party leader Dr Joseph Garcia welcomed the news and said:

"This is a very positive move which means that voters in Gibraltar will now have the choice of voting for a list which includes a Gibraltarian."

According to the Chronicle, Mr Stagnetto has been an Executive Member of the Liberal Party of Gibraltar for 18 years. He is also a former Chairman and Election Agent of the party.

He has attended Liberal Democrat party conferences in Brighton twice and was also at the Bournemouth conference in 2008. Mr Stagnetto has also participated in Liberal International political events in Oxford and Gibraltar.

The inclusion of Mr Stagnetto in the Liberal Democrat list has followed lengthy discussions between the Liberal Party in Gibraltar and the South West Liberal Democrats in the UK. This was agreed in principle with the region’s Liberal Democrat MEP Graham Watson some time ago and advantage has now been taken of the opportunity to include a Gibraltarian in the coming elections.

Commenting on the new candidate, Dr Garcia said:

"Mr Stagnetto’s position as a candidate is therefore a reflection of the strong links which exist between the Gibraltar Liberals and the UK Liberal Democrats and it reaffirms their strong commitment to Gibraltar.

It will be recalled that the party has adopted and supported policy resolutions in the past in defence of the European rights of the people of Gibraltar and of the right to self-determination.

The decision that a Gibraltarian should stand is also a reflection of Graham Watson’s personal commitment to the people of Gibraltar. This has been evident since before he became Gibraltar’s MEP."

Mr Watson has been very active as a supporter of Gibraltar. In 2002 he chaired a meeting of the European Liberal Democrats in Bath which adopted a strong resolution backing Gibraltar in Europe. This support was also further seen as recently as six months ago when he brought here a group of Liberal MEPs from 12 different countries to learn more about Gibraltar. The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) is the only political group from the European Parliament that has officially met in Gibraltar. This is due to Graham Watson’s efforts on Gibraltar's behalf... efforts which I also have noted and been very grateful to him for in the past.

Commenting on his candidature Jonathan Stagnetto said he is "doing this for all of Gibraltar" because he feels very strongly that "there should be a Gibraltarian element in these European elections".

"The decision to include me in their list shows a level of commitment to Gibraltar on the part of Graham Watson and the Liberal Democrats that speaks for itself.

I will now be able to provide a Gibraltarian perspective to the line-up and am looking forward to the invaluable political experience of standing for election in Gibraltar and South West England."

My congratulations to Jonathan Stagnetto! I will certainly be offering my support to him... in the hope that we can finally get Gibraltar's own voice and representaton in the European Parliament. Something I have hoped and asked for, for many years!

Support for Jonathan Stagnetto

A Facebook Group has now been set up in support of Jonathan Stagnetto - Gibraltar MEP Candidate. I just joined and I very much hope you will join me in supporting Jonathan and getting our first Gibraltarian (and Liberal Democrat to boot) voice in Europe!! cool