Update 3 | Edwin Vassallo, Peter Micallef returning to parliament

The Electoral Commission has decided that the PN's two additional seats are to be taken up by Edwin Vassallo and Peter Micallef

Edwin Vassallo and Peter Micallef returning to parliament
Edwin Vassallo and Peter Micallef returning to parliament

Mosta mayor Edwin Vassallo and former PN MP Peter Micallef will be returning to parliament following a decision taken by the Electoral Commission.

The decision was taken this afternoon during a meeting of the Electoral Commission. The Commission was legally advised against going for co-option in allocating the two seats that were awarded to the Nationalist Party by the Constitutional Court.

Informed sources have told MaltaToday that the PN representatives pushed for co-option. But the Electoral Commission, led by Joseph Church who was appointed Chief Electoral Commissioner in 2014, was legally advised against approving this.

It was told that a co-option would not be in line with the judgement of the Constitutional Court, which insisted that elections are decided by the electorate. Thus, a member of parliament should be chosen from among the candidates.

The return of Edwin Vassallo was a given, being the remaining runner-up from all 13 districts, sources said. Peter Micallef, a medical doctor, was the candidate with the highest number of votes among those who had been eliminated.

Sources close to the Nationalist Party told MaltaToday that the PN would have co-opted Ann Fenech, the president of its party executive, if the option had been made available.

Fenech did not contest the 2013 election. The Times of Malta on Saturday floated Simone Vella Lenicker, the daughter of Planning Authority chairman Vince Cassar, as a second possible option.

Following the decision of the court, presided by Chief Justice Silvio Camilleri, Judge Giannino Caruana Demajo and Judge Noel Cuschieri, the Nationalist Party will see its seats in parliament increasing from 29 to 31 – this excludes independent MP Giovanna Debono who was elected on a PN ticket but has since resigned from the party in view of the court case against her husband.