Labour opens door for Glenn Bedingfield to take seat in the House

Former Cabinet members Edward Zammit Lewis, Manuel Mallia and Deborah Schembri poised to return to Parliament through casual election 

The Labour Party has paved the way for the Prime Minister's aide Glenn Bedingfield to gain a seat in Parliament through a casual election.

The PL executive decided that civil liberties minister Helena Dalli should keep her seat on the 3rd district and abandon the 2nd – which leaves Bedingfield as the clear favourite to take her seat.

Bedingfield, who runs a controversial online blog that targets critics of the Labour government, was eliminated on the 2nd district at the 25th count after gaining 1,345 votes. His closest competitor in the by-election will be former parliamentary secretary Stefan Buontempo, who was eliminated on the 21st count after receiving 619 votes.

Seven Labour MPs were elected on two districts last week, and the PL executive convened this morning to decide which seats they will keep and which they will give up to open for a casual election.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat will give up his seat on the fifth district, which will almost certainly lead to the election of former PL President Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, who only narrowly failed to get elected.

Health minister Chris Fearne has given up the fourth district, a move that will see the return of Etienne Grech or the election of lawyer Andy Ellul.

Qormi’s firebrand mayor Rosianne Cutajar is also set to be elected to Parliament, after Labour decided that parliamentary secretary Silvio Schembri give up his seat on the sixth district.

Former tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis, former digital economy minister Manuel Mallia and former planning parliamentary secretary Deborah Schembri are all poised to return to Parliament as backbenchers, after finance minister Edward Scicluna, social policy minister Michael Falzon and education minister Evarist Bartolo gave up their seats on the 8th, 9th and 12th districts respectively.