The Malta Independent 5 December 2020, Saturday

Casual election or co-option: Who could replace Edward Scicluna in Parliament?

Neil Camilleri Friday, 20 November 2020, 10:44 Last update: about 14 days ago

Edward Scicluna will soon be resigning his parliamentary seat and quitting as Finance Minister, having been nominated by the government to serve as Governor of the Central Bank of Malta.

Scicluna has held the post of Finance Minister since March 2013. He was elected in the 2013 and 2017 general elections. Previously, he served as Member of the European Parliament between 2009 and 2013.


In the 2017 election, Scicluna was elected on the 7th and 8th districts. He kept his 7th district seat, where he had obtained 3,665 first-count votes.

Now that he will be resigning, the PL has two options to find a replacement.

Gavin Gulia

The first and most obvious choice would be to hold a casual election, which means that other candidates who had contested the 7th district would have a chance to replace him in Parliament.

Apart from Scicluna, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri and Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg were also elected on this district for the PL.

The candidate with the highest number of first-count votes (when discounting candidates who were subsequently elected), is Gavin Gulia, a former MP who currently works as the Chairman of the Malta Tourism Authority.

Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando

Next in line would be Charles Azzopardi, but the former Rabat mayor had a falling out with Labour after he was not allowed to contest the 2019 council election. He is still eligible to contest a casual election but would possibly end up as an independent MP.

The candidate with the highest number of votes after Azzopardi is former PN MP and incumbent MCST chairperson Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando. He obtained 572 first count votes in the 2017 election.

The Labour Party, however, could opt for a co-option, which would allow it to elect a person of its choice. This method was employed in the recent co-options of Clyde Caruana and Miriam Dalli to Parliament. None of the eligible candidates had submitted their nomination for the casual election – ostensibly on instructions by the PL – and a co-option had to be held. Dalli and Caruana replaced Joseph Muscat and Etienne Grech.  

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