[WATCH] Ministers insist seven-seat difference fails to reflect 36,000 vote majority

Ministers Edward Zammit Lewis and Owen Bonnici insist that Constitutional Court judgement doesn’t change 36,000 majority

The Constitutional Court's decision had changed the sentence delivered in the first instance
The Constitutional Court's decision had changed the sentence delivered in the first instance
Government to implement Constitutional Court's decision • Video by James Bianchi

The government was severely disappointed with the decision of the Constitutional Court granting the Nationalist Party two additional seats in parliament but would respect the decision as it always has, according to Justice Minister Owen Bonnici.

Bonnici, who was addressing a press conference on Friday with Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis, said that the sentence reduced the difference in the number of parliamentary seats allocated to government and the opposition but did not affect the 36,000 difference in votes recorded in the last election.

He said that the government remained strong and would continue implementing its electoral programme.

Zammit Lewis said it was difficult to understand how a 13,000 vote difference had resulted in a five-seat difference in parliament (for the Nationalist Party) but a vote difference of 36,000 only resulted in a seven-seat disparity in parliament.

He said he was pleased to note that the Constitutional Court's decision had changed the sentence delivered in the first instance.

"But the government's focus is not on parliamentary majorities or court cases, but on continuing to implement its programme for the good of the people," he said.

Neither minister would commit himself on whether a discussion was warranted on possibly amending the electoral legislation to ensure proper representation and to avoid similar cases in the future.

"We're not interested in engaging in academic debates," Zammit Lewis said.

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