The Malta Independent 21 January 2021, Thursday

Updated (2): Gavin Gulia to take Edward Scicluna's seat in parliament

Tuesday, 12 January 2021, 09:50 Last update: about 8 days ago

Former PL MP Gavin Gulia will make his return to Parliament after winning the casual election to replace former Finance Minister Edward Scicluna.

Three candidates who contested the seat were former Rabat mayor Charles Azzopardi, MTA chairman and former PL MP Gavin Gulia, and MCST chairman and former PN MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando.

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The casual election has drawn more attention that it usually would, owing to Azzopardi.  Azzopardi was barred from the PL to contest the 2019 local council elections on its ticket, with Azzopardi alleging that there had been ‘malicious maneuvers’ to get him out of the council. 

It has since been revealed that Azzopardi is now a member of the Nationalist Party. The election is a close one, with not much to choose from between the trio on the basis of first count votes in 2017. Azzopardi was expected to have an advantage owing to his higher placement on the ballot sheet, but that hasn't panned out.

When Scicluna's votes were distributed between the three, Azzopardi received 1,028 votes.  However this was eclipsed by the votes received by Gulia and Pullicino Orlando - who were neck and neck after the first phase of votes.

Gulia obtained 1,486 votes while Pullicino Orlando has 1,479 to his name. However, Gulia opened up a sizeable gap once Azzopardi's votes were distributed: he received 2,216 votes while Pullicino Orlando received 1,750.

In comments to journalists, Gulia expressed his thanks to constituents, and also said that he will be relinquishing his chairmanship of the Malta Tourism Authority.

The election is on the 7th district and is for the seat vacated by former Finance Minister Edward Scicluna after he was appointed governor of the Central Bank.

It's not the first time that there has been a close casual election: last year, David Thake made it to Parliament for the PN, but only after he obtained the exact same amount of votes as fellow candidate Graziella Galea in the said casual election.


Top picture: MaltaToday

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