The Malta Independent 15 July 2024, Monday
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Mellieħa independent councillor says discussions on mayor stagnant due to ‘petty partisanship'

Tuesday, 25 June 2024, 11:14 Last update: about 19 days ago

Mellieħa’s recently elected independent councillor, Matthew Borg Cuschieri, has gone to Facebook to provide some insights as to why discussions over the northern locality’s mayorship are still ongoing, nearly two weeks since the town’s election count was finalised to confirm its 4-4-1 result. He pinned “petty partisanship and stubbornness” as the present obstacles in these talks.

“A compromise can be reached if there is less petty partisanship and stubbornness to reach a decision which prioritises unity and bridges, not walls and divisiveness,” Borg Cuschieri stated.

In his social media post, the independent councillor clarified that the delays to decide who will be Mellieħa’s mayor for this five-year term are due to the achieved 4-4-1 result, in which due to his election, no party received a majority of seats within the local council. He also clarified that a locality’s incumbency is not officially decided by who gained the majority of votes. As a result, the elected candidates must discuss between them to decide upon the local council’s structure, i.e., who will be named mayor and deputy mayor.

“The system is the way it is as set, designed and operated by the 2 big parties for so many years,” he said.

Nationalist mayorship over Mellieħa would alter incumbency over the locality; Dario Vella was elected as Mellieħa mayor in 2019 as his Labour Party won a majority of the local council’s seats, even though PN’s Ivan Castillo had received by far the most first count votes.

“If in our reasoning and decisions we do not factor in the 4-4-1 result and the way the system works…then I might as well change my position from an independent and simply turn into a PN councillor,” the independent councillor remarked.

Amidst the achieved deadlock this time round, the Nationalist Party (PN) achieved the majority of votes – 3,031 (49%) to PL’s 2,559 (41%). The candidate who received the most votes during this past election was PN’s Gabriel Micallef. Borg Cuschieri received 546 votes on the first count, equating to just under 9% of the total votes cast.

Borg Cuschieri called for people not to try any tactics to tarnish his reputation and integrity, including that of his family.

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