Six candidates vie for Gonzi's vacant seat

Six nominations for Lawrence Gonzi’s vacant seat on seventh district.

Tony Abela, Antione Borg, Rudolph Grima, Peter Micallef, Philip Mifsud, David Vassallo and Edwin Vassallo will all be vying for the Parliamentary seat vacated by former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi.

Nominations closed today and a casual election will be held on Tuesday, 30 July at 9am. Gonzi's votes will be reopened and the parcel of his ballots awill be credited to the first available valid preference.

The process of excluding the candidate with the lowest number of votes and of transferring the votes to the next available valid preference continues until there is only one candidate left. The candidate will be elected if at least half of Gonzi's votes are reached.

If this criterion is met earlier and a candidate also has more votes than all other candidates taken together, the candidate shall be declared elected without any further transfers. If no candidate secures election or none is validly nominated, the vacancy is filled by co-optation by the Members of the House.

Tony Abela, a notary by profession, served as parliamentary secretary in charge of defence between 2003 and 2008 under the Gonzi administration was the first to submit his nomination. In the 9 March general election, Abela, who was the first name on the PN list, garnered 445 first count votes.

Antoine Borg, the PN's former Financial Controller had garnered 197 first-count votes while Rudolph Grima, a former mayor had obtained 65 first count votes.

Peter Micallef and Philip Mifsud, who both held a Parliamentary seat in the previous legislature had respectively obtained 328 and 214 first-count votes in March.

David Vassallo, an architect by profession had fared well in the general election, winning 378 votes in the first count.

The last candidate on the list, conservative former Parliamentary secretary Edwin Vassallo had only obtained 98 votes, despite having served as an MP in successive legislatures.

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