Election Playbook: ‘Ton and Gerry-mandering

Anton Refalo gets the all-clear from the Electoral Commission on his move to Xewkija ahead of the election – here’s your day 24 round-up

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Let them eat soup: Independent candidate Arnold Cassola went to the soup kitchen in Valletta on Friday and met with Fr Marcellino. This Valletta Soup Kitcken, run by Franciscan Friars, opened its doors in August 2021. During the visit, Cassola said the near-hundred visitors who go to the soup kitchen everyday “are a testimony to the weak economic and social conditions in which a considerable number of inhabitants of Malta live”. Nonetheless, Cassola praised the Franciscan friars for their efforts at the soup kitch. Fr Marcellino said his own worry is the increasing number of homeless people seeking help.

Arnold Cassola and Fr Marcellino at the Valletta Soup Kitchen (Photo: Arnold Cassola)
Arnold Cassola and Fr Marcellino at the Valletta Soup Kitchen (Photo: Arnold Cassola)

No gerrymandering: Despite Anton Refalo’s curiously convenient move to Xewkija, where his daughter is contesting the local council election, the Electoral Commission has said it will not investigate the matter any further. In case you missed it, Refalo and his family, who are all residents of Qala, had their voting documents distributed to three different addresses in Xewkija. Coincidentally, this is where his daughter Simona, aged 19, is contesting the local elections for the first time. Nonetheless, the Electoral Commission said it found nothing untoward in its internal investigation, and that the Electoral Office simply “followed the practice established by the electoral law”.

…and yes gerrymandering: Meanwhile in Siġġiewi, the 99 people who switched their current address to that of a government housing block still under construction will have their identity card reverted back to their original registered addresses. This case stems from a court application filed by the Nationalist Party, whereby they flagged that 99 people switched their address to the housing block. The social hosuing minister insisted this was all spin, but the courts have said otherwise, and are ordering that the addresses be switched back to their original.

Hunting candidates: A majority of Labour’s MEP candidates have signed up to a manifesto drafted by European hunting lobby FACE, of which FKNK forms part of. So if you were wondering who are the candidates sympathizing with the hunting lobby, look no further. We’ve got Labour MEP Alex Agius Saliba and candidates Clint Azzopardi Flores, Daniel Attard, Steve Ellul, Marija Sara Vella Gafa and Thomas Bajada. On the Nationalist Party side, Peter Agius has signed himself up to the manifesto, and from the independents it’s just Edwin Vassallo. Meanwhile, Cassola told FKNK outright that he would not signe the FACE manifesto.

Alex Agius Saliba (right) has championed hunting and trapping interests at the EP (Photo: Facebook)
Alex Agius Saliba (right) has championed hunting and trapping interests at the EP (Photo: Facebook)

What’s happening today?: Saturdays are for Gozo. The Labour Party will go to Għarb at 5:15pm and then San Lawrenz at 5:45pm. The Nationalist Party will be in Kerċem at 6pm.

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This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The action was co-financed by the European Union in the frame of the European Parliament's grant programme in the field of communication. The European Parliament was not involved in its preparation and is, in no case, responsible for or bound by the information or opinions expressed in the context of this action. In accordance with applicable law, the authors, interviewed people, publishers or programme broadcasters are solely responsible. The European Parliament can also not be held liable for direct or indirect damage that may result from the implementation of the action.

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