Samuel Azzopardi is at present the Mayor of Victoria, the President of the Gozo Region, the Vice-president of the Local Councils Association, the President of the Gozo Football Association and a full member of the European Committee of the Regions. He is a lawyer by profession, specialised in financial services and regulatory compliance. He is the managing director of a Malta Financial Services Authority licensed investment company and sits on boards of licensed financial services related companies. He studied at the University of Malta and Universita` degli Studi di Verona where he obtained various academic achievements including a Doctorate of Laws and Masters of Arts in Financial Services.
His keen interest in politics started when very young at age being very active in student politics leading in student councils and in particular, as President, oversaw the overhaul of Grupp Universitarji Ghawdxin (GUG) the student union of the students hailing from Gozo at the University of Malta. In 2002 he was chosen by a panel chaired by the late Peter Serracino Inglott to represent the then Prime Minister of Malta and later President of Malta Edward Fenech Adami LL.D. KUOM at the Youth Convention on the Future of Europe at the European Parliament.
In 2003 he actively campaigned for Malta to join the European Union and at 20 years of age he successfully contested the local council elections for the municipality of Victoria, the capital of Gozo. In 2006 he decided to withdraw from politics, but in 2009 he contested again the local council elections for Victoria and after garnering the largest amount of votes he became the Mayor of Victoria. In 2010 he was elected as the first President of the Gozo Region, a post he was confirmed in again in 2014, and Gozo’s representative in the Local Councils Association. In 2012 he was elected as Vice-president of Local Council’s association and serves as national minority leader for the local councils on behalf of Partit Nazzjonalista (PN). His affiliation with Partit Nazzjonalista saw him lead in various key posts including as executive member of Moviment Zghazagh Partit Nazzjonalista and member of the executive of the party. He was also a candidate for the 13th District (Gozo) for the 2013 parliamentary elections but was not elected.
In 2013 he successfully contested again the local councils’ election for the locality of Victoria, with a record amount of votes and a 2.32% increase for the PN overall, making him the first Mayor of Victoria to be confirmed in office. In 2015 he was elected as President of the Gozo Football Association after netting 66% of the votes. Later that same year he was elected as a member of the national executive of the Malta Football Association.
In April 2016 he was involved in a traffic accident which saw him resign from office and suspending himself from PN, a decision hailed by many as a clear show of good governance, since there was the possibility of him being arraigned in front of the courts after he refused to take the breathalyser case. The court’s decision in June of the same year condemned him to the minimum prescribed by law being a fine and six month suspension of the driving license. However the court declared in its judgement, after analysing accurately the facts leading to the unfortunate incident, that this incident should not bar Dr Azzopardi from his political career and social life. Subsequently the PN, hailing him as an example of good practices, good governance and heeding to the advice of the Court of Justice, nominated him again as Mayor of Victoria. He was sworn-in again as Mayor on the 18th of June 2016. This decision was both hailed and criticised in different sections of the media.
Amongst his greatest achievements during his tenure as Mayor of Victoria are the winning of the National Enterprise Awards in 2011 and representing Malta in the European Promotion Support Awards 2012, the largest EU-funded project handled by a local council in Malta which saw the complete revamp of the city’s historical call totalling around €3 million euros and a report on the EU’s €10.5 billion budget on irregular migration, terrorism and the EU’s borders, a report which earned him praise by the then Commissioner for Internal Affairs Cecilia Malmström which thanked him for the balanced views expressed in the report.
Samuel is the father of two children Emma and Damian and is an avid reader, a history enthusiast and a fencer.