PN casual election: Peter Micallef elected at the fourth count

Peter Micallef will be sworn in as MP this evening, delivering his speech before question time and hand in resignation • PN executive will then seal Adrian Delia's co-option

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Matthew Vella
3 October 2017, 9:03am
Last updated on 3 October 2017, 12:46pm
PN leader Adrian Delia at the counting hall in Naxxar, with the candidates - One of them will get Jean Pierre Debono's seat and will vacate it to make way for Delia
PN leader Adrian Delia at the counting hall in Naxxar, with the candidates - One of them will get Jean Pierre Debono's seat and will vacate it to make way for Delia
Peter Micallef has been elected with 1,719 votes at the fourth count, in the casual election being held today Tuesday on the seventh district to fill up the seat vacated by Nationalist MP Jean Pierre Debono.

The quota was at 1,653 votes and Micallef lead the race throughout. He will be sworn in as MP tonight, allowing him to deliver a speech before the time allocated for parliamentary question. He is expected to announce his resignation from parliament this evening as well. His resignation will lead to PN leader Adrian Delia's co-option to parliament, which will first be approved by the PN executive.

Delia is expected to be sworn in as Opposition leader on Friday, just in time for government's budget presentation to parliament on Monday

After the first count, the PD's Lee Bugeja Bartolo (78 votes), Dounia Borg (76) and Ian Mario Vassallo (296) have been eliminated. That leaves David Vassallo (474) Sam Abela (529) and Antoine Borg (551), and leading candidate Micallef with 1,258 votes.

On the second count, Abela was at 639, Antoine Borg at 673, Peter Micallef at 1,341, and David Vassallo - who gets eliminated - with 590 votes.

The third count saw Abela being eliminated at 840 votes. Borg and Micallef stood at 847 and 1,540 respectively.

Debono, recently embroiled in a scandal about the way he handled proxy votes during the party’s leadership election, gave up his seat to make way for new PN leader Adrian Delia.

Delia cannot be automatically co-opted to Parliament. The casual election today will elect a candidate, who is expected to resign immediately so that Delia can take his seat in the House as Opposition leader.

Nationalist candidates sitting for the election have already declared they will give up their seat if elected.

Marlene Farrugia, the leader of the Partit Demokratiku – whose candidates contested on the PN list as part of the ‘Forza Nazzjonali’ coalition – has declared the PD would not be giving any seat to Delia.

Bugeja Bartolo garnered just 45 votes, making it impossible to reach the quota for Debono’s seat.

The nominations submitted are from Sam Abela, Joseph Antoine Borg, Dounia Borg, Lee Bugeja Bartolo (PD), Peter Micallef, David Vassallo and Ian Mario Vassallo.

PD’s Monique Agius has not submitted a nomination to contest the elections, having informed the party she was resigning.

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Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.