[WATCH] Gavin Gulia wins casual election to return back to parliament

Gavin Gulia has won the casual election for the seat vacated on the 7th District after beating Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando by 466 votes in a runoff • Charles Azzopardi was first to be eliminated

Gavin Gulia beat Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando in the runoff for Scicluna's seat
Gavin Gulia beat Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando in the runoff for Scicluna's seat

Gavin Gulia has won the casual election for the 7th District seat vacated by Edward Scicluna after obtaining 2,216 votes in a runoff with Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando.

At the final count Gulia obtained 466 more votes than Pullicino Orlando. The other candidate vying for the seat, Charles Azzopardi, was the first to be eliminated.

In his first comments on his return back to parliament, Gulia said he will be resigning from the post of chairperson at the Malta Tourism Authority.

On the first count Azzopardi inherited 1,028 votes. He was eliminated. Gavin Gulia inherited 1,486 votes, while Pullicino Orlando received 1,479 votes, taking the casual election down to the wire.

At the Naxxar counting hall, Azzopardi closely followed the process and was supported by independent candidate Arnold Cassola.

Only seven votes separated Gavin Gulia and Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando in the first count
Only seven votes separated Gavin Gulia and Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando in the first count

Since the 2017 general election, Azzopardi fell out with Labour after he was not allowed to contest the 2019 local elections on its behalf following allegations of corruption and nepotism during his tenure as Rabat mayor.

A police investigation was carried out into the claims, but no charges have been filed against him.

The casual election is being held to fill the seat vacated by Edward Scicluna on the 7th District (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)
The casual election is being held to fill the seat vacated by Edward Scicluna on the 7th District (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)

Azzopardi's elimination from the race avoided an embarrassing moment for the PL. Despite contesting the last general election on the Labour ticket, he is a life member of the Nationalist Party and voted in last year’s leadership election.

At one point this morning, Cassola accused one of the vote sorters of misplacing votes that should have gone to Azzopardi into Gulia's pigeon hole. The votes were resorted again.

 

READ ALSO: Charles Azzopardi welcome to sit on opposition benches should he be rejected by government – Bernard Grech

Gulia had previously served as an MP and minister but failed to get re-elected in 2017.

Pullicino Orlando, a former PN MP, defected to the Labour Party after falling out with the Gonzi administration in 2012.

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