Ivan Bartolo elected on ninth district

Ivan Bartolo achieved a total of 2,206 votes and will fill the parliamentary seat vacated by Marthese Portelli

Ivan Bartolo
Ivan Bartolo

Ivan Bartolo has won the seat vacated by Marthese Portelli and has been co-opted in parliament.

Bartolo, an entrepreneur, has inherited 1,654 first-count votes from Portelli and was the clear leader from the get-go in today’s vote-count race in Naxxar.

The ninth district saw seven candidates vying for the seat, but Bartolo and Noel Muscat, the Swieqi mayor, were the clear favourites.

Bartolo started a petition last year to oust PN leader Adrian Delia. This eventually led to a vote of confidence in the leader last June, which Delia won by 67.5% of the vote.

At the time, Bartolo didn’t rule out vying for the leadership role himself.

Asked to comment on his past criticism of Delia and how this would pan out since he was now co-opted in parliament, Bartolo refused to comment. He instead thanked Portelli for her work and the voters who got him elected.

David Thake, the former radio host who got elected on the 12th district on Tuesday, said: “This is not an issue of single people. We’re a team and as a team we need to work together to be a viable alternative.”

Thake too has been a strong critic of Delia and has repeatedly called for his stepping down. Thake has filled former PN leader Simon Busuttil’s seat.

Bartolo has achieved a total of 2,206 votes after all were tallied.

Thake and former St Paul’s Bay Mayor Graziella Galea initially tied in an unprecedented vote with 1,877 votes before the Electoral Commission decided to take the first-count votes into consideration, where Thake won with 1,654 to Galea’s 1,323.