MALTA
Parliamentary Chamber: Il-Kamra Tad-Deputati - House of Representatives

ELECTIONS HELD IN 2003

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Chamber:
  Il-Kamra Tad-Deputati - House of Representatives


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  12 April 2003


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the members of the House of Representatives following the premature dissolution of this body. General elections had previously been held in September 1998.


Background and outcome of elections:

  On 10 March 2003, two days after the people of Malta voted in a referendum to join the European Union, Prime Minister Eddie Fenech-Adami announced that general elections would be held on 12 April 2003. He could have called the elections any time between March 2003 and January 2004, but analysts thought he was seeking a new mandate to prove the strength of the "yes" vote, for which the governing Nationalist Party (PN) had lobbied. The opposition Labour Party (MLP), which was against EU membership, questioned the validity of the result, arguing that even though 54 per cent of those who had taken part in the referendum had said yes, in reality, this represented some 48 per cent of total eligible voters.

The two main parties engaged in unrelenting negative campaigning towards each other. The ruling PN accused Mr. Alfred Sant, the leader of the MLP, of being "allegedly out to destroy the country", while the latter accused the government of "ghost projects", "bad roads" and "environmental neglect". The MLP declared that if in government, it would exempt farmers, fishermen and herdsmen from income tax, as part of the incentives of a development plan for the sector, to which the NP responded that Labour was trying to buy people's votes by promising different things to different sectors of society. The Nationalist Party's programme contained some promises closely linked to the EU "panacea", with those areas benefiting from the Lm81 million financial help clearly identified The NP even went so far as to say that the EU could only be guaranteed through a Nationalist government.

Turnout was very high at some 96 per cent of a total of 294,106 eligible voters, slightly lower than in the 1998 elections. There were no incidents reported.

The results showed that the Nationalist Party had won 51.8 per cent of the vote and 35 of the 65 seats, while the Labour Party had obtained 47.6 per cent and 30 seats.

On 14 April 2003, Mr. Eddie Fenech-Adami was sworn in as Prime Minister.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (12 April 2003): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 294 106
Voters 285 122 (97 %)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 2 909
Valid votes 282 213

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Nationalist Party (PN) 146 172 51.79
Malta Labour Party (MLP) 134 092 47.51
Democratic Alternative (DA) 1 929 0.68

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Nationalist Party (PN) 35
Malta Labour Party (MLP) 30
Democratic Alternative (DA) 0

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 59
Women: 6
Percent of women: 9.23


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Copyright 2003 Inter-Parliamentary Union