The Malta Independent 23 September 2019, Monday

Two Gozitan voters present judicial protest over Jean Pierre Debono co-option

Monday, 3 June 2019, 10:31 Last update: about 5 months ago

Two Gozitan voters this morning filed a legal notice saying they will consider a civil lawsuit if the Nationalist Party does not cancel the vote taken by the party executive committee to co-opt Jean Pierre Debono to Parliament and order another vote.

In a judicial protest, Mariella Mercieca and Daniel Cilia argued that the PN had violated electoral law, the spirit of the Constitution and its own party statute in the way the vote was taken on Saturday.

On Saturday Debono won a close vote to replace David Stellini in parliament, beating Gozitan candidate Kevin Cutajar by just two votes.

A parliamentary motion to officially co-opt Mr Debono was scheduled for Monday, but it has since been postponed after outgoing executive committee president Mark Anthony Sammut blasted the voting process.

The judicial protest filed on Monday argues that both Debono and his wife, MP Kristy Debono, should also have been barred from voting, to respect the PN’s statute, code of ethics and “general principles about conflict of interest”.

Saturday’s vote, the protest argues, also violated Maltese electoral law and went against the spirit of the Constitution.

The PN’s Gozo regional committee, in a letter to the leadership, had argued that the party was in breach of the law, citing article 22 of the General Elections Act’s 13th schedule.

The judicial protest was signed by lawyer Damian Cassar and lawyer Amadeus Cachia, representing Franco Debono and Associates.

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