Casual elections for Labour’s seats today: Edward Zammit Lewis, Rosianne Cutajar and Glenn Bedingfield elected

Published: June 20, 2017 at 11:01am

Casual elections for the seats vacated by Labour MPs who were elected to two seats in parliament are being held today.

So far, Edward Zammit Lewis and Glenn Bedingfield have been elected. Dr Zammit Lewis is one of the former cabinet members who either struggled or failed to be elected in the actual electoral process two weeks ago.

Cabinet ministers Owen Bonnici and Chris Cardona both struggled to be elected on the final or near-final count and former parliamentary secretaries Deborah Schembri and Stefan Buontempo were not elected at all. Nor were former ministers Manuel Mallia and Edward Zammit Lewis. Dr Zammit Lewis has now got his seat through the casual election.

Dr Zammit Lewis has taken the seat vacated on the Eight District by Finance Minister Edward Scicluna. Mr Bedingfield, who is one of the Prime Minister’s closest aides and a personal friend over more than two decades, has taken the seat vacated on the Second District by cabinet minister Helena Dalli, whose son Luke was his co-host on a regular show on the Labour Party’s television station. The two are often in each other’s company.

This leaves Stefan Buontempo out of the running on the Second District but still hopeful on the Fourth District, where Health Minister Chris Fearne has vacated his second seat.

Glenn Bedingfield’s election on the Second District, means that he is now out of the running on the Fifth District, where the Prime Minister has vacated his seat. The two best-known names competing for this seat now are Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi and Luciano Busuttil.

On the Sixth District, Qormi mayor Rosianne Cutajar beat Malta Tourism Authority chairman Gavin Gulia for the seat vacated by Silvio Schembri. Miss Cutajar had also been competing on the Eighth District, but that seat has just gone to Dr Zammit Lewis, making her dependent now on the competition in the Sixth District. Dr Gulia is now out of the running for parliament.

Dr Zammit Lewis’s election on the Eighth District has put him out of the running on the Ninth, leaving the coast clear for Manuel Mallia to have a straight fight with Gzira mayor Conrad Borg Manche and Labour Party activist and government appointee Nikita Zammit Alamango for the seat vacated by Michael Falzon.

Evarist Bartolo, the Education Minister, has vacated his seat on the 12th District, which puts Deborah Schembri in the running. She has told the press, however, that she faces stiff competition from newcomer Clayton Bartolo, and that she is likely to lose to him.

Glenn Bedingfield feted at the vote-counting hall this morning. Photograph courtesy of The Malta Independent.