FORMER Mayor Tony Lombard has challenged comments made in Parliament by Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo as to why he is not returning to the office of Mayor. Mr Picardo told Parliament that he had received numerous representations from members of society expressing their objection to Mr Lombard being appointed Mayor, and that a petition was being gathered. As a result, the Speaker of Parliament, Adolfo Canepa, was appointed Mayor instead. Mr Lombard has issued a statement that he describes as being in the interests of his reputation and posterity and in response to the treatment, which he says the Chief Minister has seen fit to afford him. Mr Lombard says Mr Picardo publicly announced his Mayoral re-appointment in August 2012, and for the following 18 months gave him no reason to question this arrangement. In the statement he says that given the community faces such considerable political and economic challenges, it is difficult to believe his planned appointment as Mayor would have galvanised the public to the degree the Chief Minister claims. In a short reply the Government has said that it notes the statement from Mr Tony Lombard and recognises his deep disappointment in not being re-appointed Mayor. The statement adds: “The Government considers it has acted entirely properly throughout in respect of this matter, as a result of decisions reached by the Cabinet as a whole, and in the best interests of the whole community, for the reasons already set out by the Chief Minister in his address on the relevant motion in Parliament.” As well as the appointment of Mr Canepa as Mayor, former Miss World Kaiane Aldorino was announced as Deputy Mayor. It is the second occasion that Mr Canepa had held the position of Mayor as he did so for two years from 1976. Mr Canepa was born in London in December 1940 during the wartime evacuation of Gibraltarians. He was educated at the Grammar School in Gibraltar and went on to Leicester University to attain a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics, followed by St Mary’s College, Twickenham to achieve his Diploma in Education. Mr Canepa returned to teach at the Grammar School eventually rising to become Headmaster in 1969. Adolfo stood for election in 1972 and became Minister for Labour and Social Security the same year followed by a spell as Minister for Economic Development. He became Deputy Leader of the then, Association for the Advancement of Civil Rights (AACR) and Leader of the Gibraltar Labour Party/AACR Alliance from 1987 to 1991 Miss Aldorino won the title of Miss World in 2009 to huge public acclaim drawing almost the whole population of the Rock out of their homes to greet our very own on her return to Gibraltar.