Right now: casual elections for five seats vacated by Nationalist MPs

Published: June 21, 2017 at 12:21pm

The casual elections for the seats vacated by Labour MPs who had two seats (having been elected on two districts) were held yesterday. Today, there are casual elections to fill the seats vacated by five Nationalist MPs who had two and so had to give up one.

The five seats are one each in the 7th, 10th and 13th Districts and two in the 11th District. They are the seats ceded by Beppe Fenech Adami, Robert Arrigo, Simon Busuttil, David Agius and Marthese Portelli.

In both the Labour Party and the Nationalist Party, the decision on which seats should be ceded is not taken by the individual MP but by the party’s executive council. The individual MP has no say in the matter.

So far, it appears that Godfrey Farrugia is the favoured candidate for election on the 7th District. The process has been complicated by the fact that 500 ballot sheets carrying No. 1 votes for Beppe Fenech Adami, who ceded his seat on this district, were not found in his pigeon-hole when counting began this morning. The ballot-sheets were then found in Jean-Pierre Debono’s pigeon-hole, Mr Debono being another Nationalist MP.

On 400 of those 500 ‘missing’ ballot-sheets, Godfrey Farrugia had the No. 2 vote after Dr Fenech Adami’s No. 1. This puts Dr Farrugia in the lead on the 7th District with 1,039 votes. The next in the running is newcomer Sam Abela with 652 votes.

Ivan Bartolo – not this one but this one – and Alex Perici Calascione are leading on the 11th District, which includes Mosta where Mr Bartolo is the mayor.

On the 13th District (Gozo), newcomer David Stellini, who works for the European People’s Party in Brussels, is in the lead with 1,039 votes, closely followed by Kevin Cutajar.

On the 10th District, George Pullicino (882 votes) is fighting it out with newcomer Graziella Attard Previ (732 votes). The quota for this district is 1,944 votes, which means that former cabinet minister Mr Pullicino obtained less than half the quota and should have read the runes and withdrawn from the race.

Obtaining less than half the quota when you have never been a member of parliament means you are making headway, but obtaining less than half the quota when you have been a member of parliament for many years and even a cabinet minister means that your constituents are trying to tell you that it’s time to move on.

Here’s hoping he makes it.