Nominations open to fill parliamentary seat vacated by Joe Cassar

Casual election to elect a Member of Parliament in the seventh electoral district

The Electoral Commission will be receiving candidates’ nominations for a casual election to elect a Member of Parliament in the seventh district for the seat vacated by Joe Cassar.

Eligible candidates, who contested the seventh electoral district in the March 2013 General Election and who were not elected, may present their nomination form daily between today and Saturday the 14th November 2015, at the Electoral Commission’s Office in the Counting Complex at Naxxar, between 9.00 am and noon. Nomination forms may be obtained from the Offices of the Electoral Commission in Naxxar and Valletta.

The Electoral Commission further notified that the counting of votes of this casual election shall take place as from 9am, Monday, 16 November.

One of Cassar’s possible substitutes is former parliamentary secretary Tony Abela, who was considered as the Lawrence Gonzi government’s PR nightmare when he served as parliamentary secretary in charge of defence between 2003 and 2008.

Abela was the last candidate to be eliminated in the 2013 casual election and together with former MP Peter Micallef is favourite to fill in the seat vacated on the district which includes Rabat, Zebbug and Dingli. 

Other potential candidates are conservative Mosta mayor and former MP Edwin Vassallo, former Rabat mayor Rudolph Grima, architect and former MP Philip Mifsud and Dingli local councillor David Vassallo. 

In the unpredictable casual elections, candidates must achieve 50% of the quota established in the general election. The quota of the seventh district in 2013 was 4,075, meaning that in order to get elected a candidate must garner 2,038 votes to snatch the seat. 

In the unlikely eventuality that nobody reaches the quota or nobody submits a nomination, the PN would co-opt somebody to fill in Cassar’s seat. The last MP to be co-opted was Prime Minister Joseph Muscat who took up the seat voluntarily vacated by Joseph Cuschieri in 2008.