CON­FIRMED: Ed­win Vas­sallo and Peter Mi­callef elected to Par­lia­ment, swear­ing-in date to be de­ter­mined

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE -

Ed­win Vas­sallo and Peter Mi­callef were elected to Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day fol­low­ing a Con­sti­tu­tional Court rul­ing on Fri­day that warded Na­tion­al­ist Party two ex­tra par­lia­men­tary seats, al­beit three years late.

The Elec­toral Com­mis­sion met yes­ter­day to de­ter­mine which two can­di­dates who con­tested the 2013 Gen­eral Elec­tion on the PN ticket were to take seats in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the wake of the land­mark court rul­ing.

The Con­sti­tu­tional Court granted two ex­tra seats to the Na­tion­al­ist Party fol­low­ing er­rors in the count­ing process in the last gen­eral elec­tion. The Labour Party will not lose any seats, which means that, for the first time Par­lia­ment will have a to­tal of 71 mem­bers.

Sources within the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion told this news­room that the Pres­i­dent of Malta has been in­formed of yes­ter­day’s de­ci­sion but it is not yet clear if an of­fi­cial let­ter has been sent. Af­ter the Pres­i­dent re­ceives the of­fi­cial no­tice, it is ex­pected that the Speaker

of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives will then be of­fi­cially in­formed and the swear­ing-in cer­e­mony for two ad­di­tional Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment will take place.

A PN rep­re­sen­ta­tive told The Malta In­de­pen­dent on Sun­day yes­ter­day that the party wants the two rep­re­sen­ta­tives to be sworn in right away.

This was an un­prece­dented sit­u­a­tion, which the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion had a month to solve, but the Com­mis­sion took just two hours yes­ter­day to come up with a so­lu­tion. It de­cided to elect the two PN can­di­dates who were clos­est to be­ing elected out of all the dis­tricts, as op­posed to the other al­ter­na­tive, which would have been to al­low the PN to co-opt a new MP of their choos­ing.

Mr Vas­sallo will now re­sign his post as Mosta mayor to take his place in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Mr Vas­sallo had pre­vi­ously served as par­lia­men­tary sec­re­tary in a Na­tion­al­ist gov­ern­ment.

He was elected in five con­sec­u­tive elec­tions be­tween 1996 and 2008 but lost his par­lia­men­tary seat in 2013, and has now been re­elected fol­low­ing this week’s Con­sti­tu­tional Court rul­ing.

Peter Mi­callef will also be re­turn­ing to Par­lia­ment, hav­ing been elected in a ca­sual elec­tion in 2010 to fill the seat va­cated by John Dalli, who had re­signed from Par­lia­ment to be­come Euro­pean Com­mis­sioner.

In Fe­bru­ary 2015, The Malta In­de­pen­dent had in­di­cated that Mr Vas­sallo and Dr Mi­callef were the two can­di­dates most likely to be elected if the PN were to win the court case it in­sti­tuted fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery that mis­takes had been made in the 2013 Gen­eral Elec­tion vote count­ing process.

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