Dr Enrico Mizzi (1950 - 1950)

Prime Minister of Malta (1950 - 1950)

Born in Valletta on the 20 September 1885, Dr Enrico Mizzi popularly known as Nerik Mizzi, was the son of Fortunato Mizzi (founder of the Nationalist Movement) and of Maria Sofia Fogliero de Luna. He was educated at the Gozo Seminary, Flores College and at the Royal University of Malta where he graduated in literature and science in 1906. He read law at the Universities of Rome and Urbino from where he obtained his LL.D. degree in 1911.

Mizzi was first elected to the Council of Government from Gozo in 1915 as Member of the Comitato Patriottico. While Mizzi was striving to obtain a liberal Constitution he was arrested at his residence on 7 Mayand court-martialled on charges of sedition in 1917 under the Malta Defence Regulations for writings and statements against the British. He was sentenced to a year's imprisonment with hard labour, the loss of civil rights and the withdrawal of lkawyer's warrant. The sentence was commuted by Governor Methuen to a "severe censure", while his civil rights and warrant were restored following the cessation of hostilities in 1918.

Mizzi founded the Circolo Giovane Mala and was life president of the Societa' Dante Alighieri. In 1919 Nerik Mizzi was elected Secretary of the National Assembly (NA) and was also to serve as delegate to the NA between 1945-47.

In 1921 he formed the PDN to contest the elections to Malta's first responsible Government. Mizzi's party formed a coalition government with the UPM in 1924 and he became Minister of Agriculture. Later the PDN merged with the UPM to form the Partito Nazionalista. He was co-Leader with Sir Ugo Mifsud (1926-42).

Nerik Mizzi was Minister of Industry and Commerce (1924-27), Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Posts (1932), Minister of Education (1932-33). He was member of the legislative assembly (1921-30), (1932-33), (1947-50); and Leader of the Partito Nazionalista (1942-50), and Leader of the Opposition (1947-50).

On 30 May 1940 while Mizzi was at the Malta Printing Press, he was arrested and together with another 47 Maltese citizens, was interned for their alleged Italian sympathies and later deported illegally to Uganda in 1942. He was repatriated on 8 March 1945 and resumed his seat in the Council of Government. After the 1950 elections, Nerik Mizzi was asked to form a minority government and in September 1950, he became Prime Minister, only to die three months later at his residence in Valletta and was given a state funeral.

Nerik Mizzi founded the ECO di Malta e Gozo, organ of the PDN in 1921, and founded as well as edited MALTA, organ of the PN (1926-40).

Dr Nerik Mizzi was married to Bice Vassallo, daughter of Maestro Paolino Vassallo in 1926 and had one child: Dun Fortunato Mizzi.