Kristy Debono clinches presidency of PN's general council by 16 votes

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia starts to cement his hold on the party after Kristy Debono sees off veteran former minister Censu Galea in a very tight race for the presidency of the PN general council

Kristy Debono was elected president of the PN general council
Kristy Debono was elected president of the PN general council

Kristy Debono is expected to preside over her first general council as president tomorrow after she beat Censu Galea with 638 votes against 622 in a very tight race.

The contest for which PN councillors were eligible to vote saw 16 invalid votes, which equates to the difference between both candidates.

Debono, who was elected with a record of votes in the last general election from district 9, had backed Adrian Delia in the leadership race. Her candidature was a test of strength for the new leader among PN councillors in the wake of a revolt within the parliamentary group, where Delia is facing stiff opposition from a majority of MPs.

Debono's victory, albeit by a small margin, will give Delia a much needed boost within the party structures. Her election to the post was greeted with joy by her supporters.

Debono is married to Jean Pierre Debono, who gave up his parliamentary seat to make way for Delia.

PN councillors also voted to elect 18 members of the executive. There were 59 candidates vying for the seats.

1,276 of the 1,302 councillors voted in the election - bringing the percentage to 98%. Nine men and nine women were elected.

The men are Jerome Caruana Cilia (760), Pierre Portelli (720), Alex Perici Calascione (713), Jean Pierre Debono (696), Mark Anthony Sammut (670), Mario Frendo (593), Robert Cremona (590), Ivan Bartolo (562), and Censu Galea (531).

The women are Paula Mifsud Bonnici (901), Lisa Spiteri (885), Louise Tedesco (817), Graziella Galea (797), Veronica Perici Calascione (736), Amanda Abela (681), Roselyin Borg Knight (671), Francesca Zammit (636) and Evelyn Vella Brincat (605).