HOME -> PARLINE -> MALTA (Il-Kamra Tad-Deputati)
Print this pagePrint this page
PARLINE database new searchNew search
Il-Kamra Tad-Deputati (House of Representatives)

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Last elections module

A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name (generic / translated) Il-Kamra Tad-Deputati / House of Representatives
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 8 March 2008
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all the members of the House of Representatives following the premature dissolution of this body on 4 February 2008. General elections had previously been held on 12 April 2003.
On 4 February 2008 Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi called general elections for 8 March five months before they were constitutionally due. President Eddie Fenech Adami subsequently dissolved the House of Representatives. Mr. Gonzi had succeeded Mr. Fenech Adami as Prime Minister in March 2004. The following month the Parliament elected the latter as the new President.

The country's Constitution was revised in September 2007 to give more importance to the first-count vote (which is attributed to voters' most preferred candidate) in general elections. If necessary the party that wins the highest percentage of first-count votes is given "bonus seats" in order to secure a majority in the House of Representatives. As in previous elections candidates were allowed to contest in two districts.

In the last elections held in April 2003 the Nationalist Party (PN) now led by Prime Minister Gonzi had won 35 of the 65 seats at stake. Mr. Alfred Sant's main opposition Malta Labour Party (MLP) had taken the remainder. The PN has governed the country since 1987 except from 1996 to 1998 when the MLP controlled the Parliament.

The 2008 elections were the first to be held after the country's accession to the European Union (EU) in May 2004 and the introduction of the euro in January 2008. Some 260 candidates contested the elections. Once again there was a duel between the PN and the MLP.

Prime Minister Gonzi an advocate of pro-EU policies highlighted the PN's past achievements arguing that his government had created 20 000 new jobs in the past five years and had reduced the public deficit from 10 per cent of the GDP in 2004 to 1.6 per cent in 2007. He promised to lower the maximum rate of income tax from 35 to 30 per cent.

MLP leader Sant promised to create 2 000 jobs in industry and 4 000 in new technologies to boost economic growth to over 4 per cent. He alleged corruption within the PN Government insisting that he had concrete evidence. However he did not reveal it arguing that it would endanger the lives of the persons who had leaked the information.

In addition six other parties were vying for seats in the new Parliament. They included the Democratic Alternative (AD a Green party) led by Mr. Harry Vassallo and the National Action (AN). The AN was founded in June 2007 by Mr. Josie Muscat a former member of the PN. He argued that Malta could not remain the only EU Member State to have just two parties represented in Parliament. The AD leader Vassallo supported the tax cuts proposed by the PN but criticized the lack of a plan to finance the resulting shortfall. The AD proposed to meet the shortfall by increasing the tax rate of banks from 35 to 40 per cent.

93.30 per cent of some 315 000 registered voters turned out at the polls down from 97 per cent recorded in the 2003 elections.

The PN's victory was announced more than 24 hours after the close of the polling stations due to its narrow advantage of 1 580 first-count votes. The MLP won 34 seats three more than the PN. However since the PN took the most first-count votes it was given four "bonus seats" making 35 seats in all. Neither the AD nor the AN won a seat.

Twelve of the 65 members (ten men and two women) were elected in two separate districts and had to give up one of their seats. Elections to fill the 12 vacant seats were held on 17 April. In the meantime on 12 March Mr. Gonzi's new 14-member cabinet was sworn in.

The House of Representatives held its first session on 10 May. Due to the PN's narrow majority the Speaker Louis Galea was appointed from outside the House. He replaced Mr. Anton Tabone (PN) who himself was a member of parliament.
Voter turnout
Round no 18 March 2008
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
294'214 (93.3%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Nationalist Party (PN) 143'468 49.34
Malta Labour Party (MLP) 141'888 48.79
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Nationalist Party (PN) 35
Malta Labour Party (MLP) 34
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
- Electoral Office (01.04.2008 23.04.2008 11.01.2012)
- http://www.electoral.gov.mt/
- http://www.doi.gov.mt

Note on the number of women elected.
Six of the 65 candidates elected were women. The four "bonus seats" went to male candidates. Among the six women two were elected in two separate districts. The seats they vacated were filled by male candidates. The number of women thus remained at six.

Copyright 1996-2013 Inter-Parliamentary Union