Election Playbook: Crime and Government

Voting is off to a rocky start after allegations that prisoners like HSBC heist convict Daren Debono were allowed to vote on Saturday despite interdiction – this is how Day 28 of the election campaign played out

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Jailbreak: The Electoral Commission was faced with allegations over the weekend that it allowed interdicted prisoners to vote during Saturday’s early ballot session. Among the prisoners in question is reportedly Daren Debono, who benefited from a plea deal over the 2010 HSBC heist last January. The commission didn’t flatly deny that interdicted prisoners voted, but insisted that its registry is ‘substantially correct’ and relies on information provided by public officials. 

Labour wins straw polls: All the Sunday survey results point towards another Labour landslide. Our MaltaToday survey indicates that the Labour Party should win with a 53.7% share of the vote, or a nine-point lead over the Nationalist Party. Statistician Vincent Marmara’s study indicates that Labour will lead with a 55.6% landslide, and Esprimi’s survey, commissioned by the Times of Malta, points to a similar 55.1%. MaltaToday will continue with its daily polling in the week prior to election day on 26 March. 

Grech sits with MaltaToday: Our executive editor Matthew Vella sat down with Opposition leader Bernard Grech to understand his vision for a new Malta while picking his brain on the PN’s 2022 election manifesto. He said the party’s decision to move away from corruption as a central theme in the campaign was not just a strategic choice but a natural one. He said that the PN’s living wage proposal would not be mandatory for all companies, while saying he wants to incentivise people to reach higher tax brackets by offering a 25% tax rate.  

Watch the full video below! 

MaltaToday interviews PN leader Bernard Grech | Elections 2022

Partit Nazzjonalista leader Bernard Grech has had a steep learning curve in politics and is trying to cut down an insurmountable lead Labour has enjoyed for years. He speaks to MaltaToday executive editor Matthew Vella about the PN's manifesto for the 2022 elections https://bit.ly/37LhEEk

Posted by MaltaToday on Saturday, March 19, 2022

Apples and oranges: The Labour Party seems to have been heavily inspired by tech giant Apple for its new advert promoting its €700 million electoral pledge. Labour’s advert adopts the same template: telling the audience you have a vision, and detailing what your plan is. It even employs the same rhythm, tone and editing style, with near-exact marker graphics highlighting key words and phrases.  

Rally-watch: Both parties had their penultimate Sunday rally yesterday, with the PN and PL attracting large crowds at Sliema’s Dingli circus and Ta’ Qali’s MFCC respectively. Abela focused his speech on the Labour's united front, while deeming the PN as a divided party. Grech maintained pressure on Abela's Żejtun villa case, urging people to vote and stop Abela from doing as he pleases.

Constitutional challenges: ADPD chairperson Carmel Cacopardo insisted that the Green Party will challenge Malta’s electoral law inside the Constitutional Court if the party achieves a national vote count equivalent to a quota. The electoral system offers a proportionate number of seats to the parties whose candidates are individually elected in constituencies, but Cacopardo said that the party will challenge this electoral mechanism in court if the party receives an overall national vote that amounts to the average quota for all elected seats. 

 What’s happening today?: Robert Abela will be in Xagħra at 6:30pm for an interview. No PN events were scheduled at time of writing. Independent candidate Arnold Cassola will be interviewed by veteran journalist Peppi Azzopardi in the evening.