MALTA
Parliamentary Chamber: Deputati

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1996

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Chamber:
  Deputati


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  26 October 1996


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament following the premature dissolution of this body on 23 September 1996. General elections had previously taken place in February 1992.


Background and outcome of elections:

  On 23 September 1996, hand-in-hand with the premature dissolution of the House of Representatives, Prime Minister Edward Fenech Adami (Nationalist Party - PN) announced the October election date, to take place eight months before the normal expiry of the legislature's term.

The main opposition to the right-wing PN once again came from the Malta Labour Party (MLP) headed by Mr. Alfred Sant. The dominant issue in the campaign was the country's future relations with the European Union (EU). Mr. Adami pledged to pursue Malta's EU membership application made in 1990, while Mr. Sant was committed to ending this application and also suggested removing the country from the NATO Partnership for Peace Programme which it joined in 1995. The MLP leader promised to repeal an unpopular 15% tax (VAT) on consumer goods imposed in 1995 and opposed gun controls.

The EU question especially succeeded in mobilising the electorate, which turned out in record numbers to return the socialist MLP to power with more than 50% of the popular vote. Of the 69 House seats, Labour edged out PN by winning 35. On this basis, Mr. Sant took office as Prime Minister on 28 October and a new Cabinet was formed the following day.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (26 October 1996): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 271,746
Voters 264,037 (97.16%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 2,813
Valid votes 261,224

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Malta Labour Party (MLP) 132,497 50.7
Nationalist Party (PN) 124,864 47.8

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Malta Labour Party (MLP) 35*
Nationalist Party (PN) 34

Comments:
  *including four "bonus seats"

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 65
Women: 4

Distribution of seats according to age:  
21-30 years 3
31-40 years 19
41-50 years 31
51-60 years 10
61-70 years 5
Over 70 years 1


Distribution of seats according to profession:

 
Lawyers 17
Doctors 12
Architects 8
Notaries 5
Company directors 3
Businessmen 2
Teachers 2
Clerks 2
Others 14
No other profession 4


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Copyright 1996 Inter-Parliamentary Union