PL casual elections: Drama in the fourth district

A total of four counts were required to determine who would be eliminated in the penultimate round

Andy Ellul has been eliminated on the fourth district having accumulated just one vote less than former parliamentary secretary Stefan Bountempo, who remains in the running for a seat along with Etienne Grech.

Candidate Joe Cilia was eliminated on the third round, which led to a vote tie between Stefan Buontempo and Andy Ellul. As a result, the electoral commission called a recount of the Cilia’s votes.

A spokesperson for the commission explained that any of the candidates, as well as the commission itself, are permitted to request a recount, adding that it was standard practice for the commission to request a recount in cases where vote counts are very close.

Furthermore, it was confirmed that according to electoral law, if the candidates’ vote tallies remained the same following a recount, the candidate with the least amount of first count votes in the casual election would have been eliminated – in this case Stefan Buontempo.

Luckily for Buontempo, who was not present at the counting hall, the end of the recount left him with an advantage of three votes over Ellul, who however asked for a recount himself.

The result of the second recount was also in Buontempo’s favour, although the difference between the two candidates had gone down from three votes to one, resulting in another recount being requested, once again by Ellul.

The third recount did not come with a change in result, and Ellul conceded.

Etienne Grech went on to win the district following the distribution of Ellul’s votes