Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat won a second term in office after calling a snap parliamentary election last month to counter allegations of corruption against his wife and some of his political allies. Muscat’s Labour Party won 55 percent of votes in Saturday’s election, handing it an absolute majority in the 65-seat parliament, according to political sources on both sides involved in the vote tally. The Labour Party had polled about five percentage points ahead of the rival Nationalist Party going into the vote. Nationalist Party chief Simon Busuttil called Muscat and conceded defeat on Sunday morning.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Malta.
Yesterday’s voter turnout of 92.07% was the lowest turnout figure since the 1966 election, although it was only less than one percentage point lower than 2013’s turnout figure of 92.98%. In what can be described as a very long and painstaking night in politics, both the Nationalist and Labour parties have spent hours poring over the voter turnout figures in each electoral district, closely analysing who were those who decided to not cast a vote in yesterday’s general election.
The embattled Maltese government has claimed that it has come under attack from a Russian-backed campaign to undermine it, amid worsening relations with the Kremlin. Malta assumed the presidency of Europe’s Council of Ministers in January, an important position under which it chairs high-level meetings in Brussels and sets Europe’s political agenda. Since then, the Maltese government’s IT systems have seen a rise in attacks, according to a source working within its information technology agency, a government body. He claimed the attacks, which have increased ahead of next month’s general election, are designed to damage the government. “In the last two quarters of last year and the first part of this year, attacks on our servers have increased,” the source said.
The Russian spy story continued to reverberate on the campaign trail, as Prime Minister Muscat had to deal with the backlash of ridicule that erupted after his announcement that he had received information from two allied secret services that Russia was behind the Egrant saga. In the morning, the Prime Minister once again reiterated what he had said a day earlier, with much less drama, but he would not be drawn into saying whether he believed the story was true or otherwise. And nobody was expecting him to say yes or no. A “yes” would have brought even more disdain, and open up diplomatic issues, and a “no” would have been an admission that the story was nothing more than an attempt to win some sympathy.
Malta: Russian red herring for breakfast – Why would Putin want to elect Simon Busuttil? | The Malta Independent
Yesterday will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the more bizarre days in Maltese electoral history. But before delving into the somewhat murky waters of the Prime Minister’s cloak and dagger, and diplomatically dangerous, assertions about Russia’s nefarious interests in Maltese political affairs one central question needs to be asked: why, exactly would Vladimir Putin want to see Simon Busuttil elected? The fact of the matter is that if asked to choose a preferred leader of Malta, Putin would no doubt prefer a Socialist Prime Minister who has over his tenure consistently looked east and courted and sold state assets to countries such as Azerbaijan and China over a Christian Democrat who believes so wholeheartedly in the European project.
Malta: Nationalist Party claims it already received reports of defaced voting documents | The Malta Independent
The Nationalist Party has already received several reports of voting documents which were already defaced and had ink removed accidentally. PN Deputy Leader Beppe Fenech Adami said that there were police officers who complained that the fell off and was stuck on the palm of their hand. Dr Fenech Adami this afternoon addressed another press conference on the ‘flimsy documents’ printed by the electoral commission. The PN Deputy Leader yesterday claimed that the new voting documents, which were set to be distributed to households as from today, do not have the necessary safety features, and the ink can be easily wiped off.
Malta: Ink on new, supposedly secure voting documents can be easily rubbed off, PN reveals | The Malta Independent
The new voting documents, which are set to be distributed to households as from tomorrow, do not have the necessary safety features, and the ink can be easily wiped off, PN Deputy Leader Beppe Fenech Adami revealed this evening. Addressing a press conference, Dr Fenech Adami, accompanied by the PN Secretary General Rosette Thake, said that the PN was informed that due to a problem in the lamination machine, the documents were printed on plastic paper, instead of the standard lamination.
Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Monday announced early elections amid mounting corruption claims and opposition calls for his resignation. Muscat called new elections for June 3, nearly 10 months early, at a May Day rally of his ruling Labor Party supporters.
The 43-year-old prime minister has been under pressure in recent weeks after popular blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia made claims that his wife, Michelle, owned an offshore shell company in Panama. A magisterial inquiry has been launched into the issue. Owning offshore accounts is not illegal in Malta, but the revelations and investigation have created a political backlash.
The Electoral Commission has taken the plunge and issued a tender for an electronic vote counting system for use in all elections from 2019 onward. The advent of electronic voting will substantially trim down the time it takes to count votes, particularly given Malta’s laborious Single Transferable Voting system, which takes days on end to produce the full results of electoral polling. The new system is expected to produce election results in a matter of a few hours. In its tender announcement issued this week, the Electoral Commission has made it clear that the system will certainly not be employed in the next general election, whether that is to be held this year or next, and specifies that it will be first used for tallying the results of the 2019 European Parliament and Local Council Elections.
Malta: Labour Party still unsure on whether to extend general election voting rights to 16-year-olds | The Malta Independent
The Labour Party is still unsure on whether 16-year-olds will be granted the right to vote at the next general election, a statement issued by the National Youth Council (KNZ) said. The council asked all parties to say what their intentions are when the matter is brought to the vote. The Nationalist parliamentary group, as well as independent MP Giovanna Debono, informed the council that they shall be supporting the motion once it is tabled and a vote is a taken.