Malta
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Biography: Francesco Buhagiar

Malta’s Second Prime Minister

The son of Michele Buhagiar and Elisa née Mifsud, Francesco was born in Qrendi. He studied law at the UM, graduating in 1901. He followed a successful career as a lawyer and showed himself a capable and sensitive exponent of civil and commercial law.

After Malta was granted self-government, Buhagiar was returned to the Legislative Assembly  in the elections of 1921 and 1924 in the interests of the UPM. On 13 October 1922 he was appointed Minister of Justice in succession to Dr Alfredo Caruana Gatto* and, exactly a year later, he succeeded Senator Joseph Howard as Prime Minister.

The UPM coalition with the Labour Party came to an  end on 2 January  1924 but Buhagiar led a minority government until Parliament was dissolved in  April. After the June 1924 elections, the UPM returned only 10 members to the Legislative Assembly but Buhagiar was  still asked to form a government. He led a minority government till 22 September 1924 when he resigned his seat and was appointed a judge of the superior courts.

A gentleman and a democrat, Buhagiar was highly respected by all, even by his political opponents. His career on the Bench was a distinguished one, earning him a reputation as an eminently practical man and an accomplished jurist.

Buhagiar continued his legal career in court till 1934 when he succumbed to complications following an attack of acute appendicitis. An authograph picture of Buhagiar is still at the main hall of Lourdes Band Club Qrendi, where Buhagiar was President of the Philharmonic Band.

He died at the Blue Sisters Hospital and was buried at the Addolorata Cemetery.

Buhagiar married Enrichetta Said and they had five children.

This biography is part of the collection created by Michael Schiavone over a 30-year period. Read more about Schiavone and his initiative here.