12 MARCH 2003

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Local council success for pro-EU parties

The local council elections have reaffirmed the majority of seats in the hands of the Nationalist Party, and a strong return for Alternattiva Demokratika.
The Malta Labour Party obtained 47.5 percent of the vote in the 23 councils, whilst Independent candidates received 1.7 percent. The PN retained their majority in the local councils with 49 percent of the global vote. AD, contesting in only eight councils, received just over two percent of the vote.
There were 262 candidates: 125 for the PN, 117 for the MLP, eight for AD and 12 independent.
The councils contested were Mdina, Bormla, Gudja, Gharb, Ghaxaq, Zabbar, Victoria, Kalkara, Lija, Birkirkra, Fgura, Marsaskala, Mgarr, San Gwann, Msida, Sannat, Sliema, Naxxar, Pieta’, Tarxien, Rabat, Xghajra and Mtarfa.
Former Labour Bormla mayor Paul Muscat, who was expelled from the MLP following the election rigging scandal in the 1992 MLP leadership, this year contested as an independent candidate with the tag Assistenza Lill-Batuti. Although garnering 229 first count votes, he failed to get elected.
Former Nationalist Lija mayor John M Mangion also failed to be elected as an independent candidate (Ahjar Iben Hal-Lija). He only managed to win 68 votes.
Few changes have occurred in the council formations save for a new Labour majority in Rabat.
The Green Party managed to snatch three seats in Birkirkara, Lija, and Sliema. James Camilleri was the first AD candidate to claim victory in Lija after a number of votes inherited from independent candidate Richard Stagno Navarra stole the seat away from close contender Lorraine Farrugia, for the Malta Labour Party. Sliema boy Michael Briguglio also made it to the Sliema council, the first AD councillor since Harry Vassallo. With the exception of Hal-Lija, the PN lost two councillors to the Green Party, who with an average of 6 percent on the councils contested, have proved to be a force to be reckoned with.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
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