VALLETTA, Malta -- Anton Buttigieg, president of the Malta republic from 1976 to 1981, died Thursday, the government announced.
He was 71.
Government sources said he died of natural causes but they gave no details.
Buttigeig had a long career in the Malta Labor party. Between 1971 and 1976 he served as minister of justice and parliamentary affairs and also was deputy prime minister. He was president from 1976 to 1981 and had been a member of parliament since 1955.
Buttigeig also established a reputation as a poet and some of his works were translated into English, Italian and Japanese.