PN chooses south over women as Janice Chetcuti drops out of casual election

PN candidate Janice Chetcuti chooses gender mechanism route to get into parliament rather than casual election to give other 3rd District candidates a chance

Janice Chetcuti
Janice Chetcuti

Nationalist Party candidate Janice Chetcuti has decided not to contest the casual election on the 3rd District since she is assured a parliamentary seat through the gender mechanism.

Chetcuti made the announcement in a Facebook post, saying her decision was motivated by “loyalty towards the PN and 3rd District constituents”.

The casual election on the district is necessary to fill the seat vacated by Stephen Spiteri who was elected on two districts. Casual elections for PN candidates will take place on Tuesday.

Chetcuti said she wanted to maximise the party’s vote on the district by giving another candidate the chance to get elected to parliament through the casual election.

She is assured of a seat in parliament because the gender mechanism gives first preference to those women candidates who were left standing at the last count. Chetcuti is the only female PN candidate left standing and so will be the first elected through the mechanism.

Another five female MPs based on a ranking that takes into account the last count votes expressed as a percentage of the district quota will also be elected.

Chetcuti’s decision not to contest the casual election, which she could have easily won, means that the PN will have passed up the option to have another woman in parliament.

“With loyalty towards the PN and all constituents who form part of the third district and after lengthy reflection I decided not to contest the casual elections so that as a party we can maximise the vote on the district and so elect three representatives,” Chetcuti wrote.

She added that by doing so she would be allowing another candidate to get into parliament since she would also make it through the gender quota mechanism.

PN spokesperson Peter Agius applauded Chetcuti’s decision, which he said was inspired by the party’s needs. “With her decision, she makes it possible for the south of Malta to have another representative in parliament,” Agius said, thanking her for the decision.