The Malta Independent 3 February 2023, Friday
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Only 4 women elected, casual election results set to trigger gender mechanism

Semira Abbas Shalan Monday, 28 March 2022, 14:41 Last update: about 11 months ago

Only four women were elected to Parliament in Malta’s general election, down from the eight female MPs elected in 2017.

If, once the casual elections are held to replace candidates who were elected on two districts, the number of women does not make up 40% of the total number of seats, the gender mechanism approved in the past legislature will be triggered to appoint up to a total of 12 women to complete the line-up of both sides of the House.


Three women MPs from the Labour party were elected, whilst only one candidate from the PN’s side. Alison Zerafa Civelli (District 2), Miriam Dalli (District 5 and 11), Julia Farrugia Portelli (District 7) and Graziella Galea (District 12), were all elected to parliament.

Dalli was the only woman who was elected in two districts.

This is the first time that Malta will put into effect its gender corrective mechanism law, enacted into law last April. The mechanism comes into effect when a there is less than 40% representation of a gender in parliament. The mechanism goes unused if a third political party is elected to parliament. In this year’s election, only two parties picked up seats.

The low number of women elected will most likely mean that the gender corrective mechanism will come into force. But it will only be used after the casual elections complete the 67-MP line-up. The mechanism’s intention is to increase the number of women in parliament since Malta has one of the lowest rates of female elected politicians across Europe.

If the mechanism is used, each party will elect an identical number of candidates in order to preserve the parliamentary majority which is determined by the election. Each party will get a maximum of six women MPs added to its list.

Of the seven woman MPs who were elected in 2017, only Julia Farrugia Portelli retained her seat. Three women who served as MPs in the last legislature, and who were not elected in this election were Claudette Buttigieg, Rosianne Cutajar and Maria Deguara. The other women MPs who were elected in 2017, and who did not contest this time, were Marthese Portelli, Marlene Farrugia, Kristy Debono and Helena Dalli.

The PN is fielding 17 female candidates, whilst the PL are fielding 16 female candidates, with 33 female candidates contesting between them.

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