The race is on: Helena Dalli, Edward Scicluna and Chris Fearne submit nominations

The three ministers have submitted their nominations for the election of deputy leader of the Labour Party, who will also serve as deputy prime minister

Edward Scicluna, Helena Dalli and Chris Fearne seek deputy leadership post
Edward Scicluna, Helena Dalli and Chris Fearne seek deputy leadership post

EU affairs Minister Helena Dalli, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna and Health Minister Chris Fearne have submitted their nominations for the post of Labour deputy leader for parliamentary affairs.

The person elected will also hold the position of deputy prime minister, replacing Louis Grech.

The nominations close today at 7.30pm.

The 750 Labour delegates or so have until the extraordinary general conference – to be held on 13 and 14 July – to decide whom they want as their deputy leader.

Delegates have a tough choice to make, as all three contenders are well-positioned to become the next deputy prime minister.

Dalli, who is the longest serving MP out of the three, was instrumental in implementing reforms which led to Labour’s civil liberties revolution. If elected, Dalli would become the first female politician in Malta to hold the position of deputy leader and deputy prime minister.

The scholarly Scicluna is seen to attract the support of the moderate current within the party. Scicluna believes that he could be an honest broker between the current and future leadership of the Labour Party.

Fresh from his strong electoral showing, Fearne is widely popular with the party’s grassroots and is likely to be backed by veteran delegates. 

He received the second highest number of votes within Labour’s ranks (behind Muscat), garnering 10,098 votes in the two districts he contested. 

A secret vote of confidence in Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat – and in the deputy leader for party affairs Chris Cardona – will also be held during the conference, as laid down in the party’s statute. 

If more than two candidates submit their nomination for deputy leader, and none obtains at least 50%+1 of all valid votes, a second election will be held on Saturday 15 July between the two candidates who obtained the highest number of votes.