MALTA
Parliamentary Chamber: Il-Kamra Tad-Deputati

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1998

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Chamber:
  Il-Kamra Tad-Deputati


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  5 September 1998


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the members of the House of Representatives following the premature dissolution of this body on 4 August 1998. General elections had previously been held in October 1996.


Background and outcome of elections:

  On 4 August 1998, the House of Representatives was dissolved and general elections were scheduled for the following month. The premature poll - coming less than two years after that of October 1996 - was called by Prime Minister Alfred Sant (Malta Labour Party - MLP) after his party had lost its parliamentary majority of one seat. This was caused by the breaking of ranks by former Prime Minister Dom Mintoff in protest against certain policies of the Labour Government, including the imposition of economic austerity measures by the Government in November 1997.

During the one-month campaign, debate centered on Malta’s membership in the European Union (EU) and economic issues. Mr. Sant continued to oppose affiliation to the EU, advocating instead a free trade zone with it. His main rival - Mr. Edward Fenech Adami of the Nationalist Party (PN), Premier from 1987 to 1996 - supported the EU link and advocated the re-introduction of a value-added tax (VAT), which was considered as a more efficient indirect taxation system and which he felt would reduce business costs and thereby encourage investment. Some 200 candidates vied for the 65 House seats.

Polling day witnessed a high voter turnout and the centre-right PN regained the majority it had lost to the social-democratic MLP in 1996. In this context, Mr. Sant resigned after conceding defeat on 6 September. Mr. Fenech Adami was promptly sworn in as Prime Minister and formed his Cabinet the next day. Mr. Adami stated that the top priority of his new Nationalist government would be to give Malta a sense of direction, and to reactivate its efforts to join the European Union.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (5 September 1998): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 281,078
Voters 268,150 (95.4%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 3,658
Valid votes 264,492

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Nationalist Party (PN) 137,037 51.8
Malta Labour Party (MLP) 124,220 47
Democratic Alternative (DA) 3,208 1.2
Others 27 0.1

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

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 59
Women: 6

Distribution of seats according to age:  
21-30 years 4
31-40 years 18
41-50 years 33
51-60 years 6
61-70 years 4


Distribution of seats according to profession:

 
Lawyers 19
Doctors 11
Architects 7
Company directors 4
Teachers 4
Notaries 3
Businessmen 2
Bank managers 2
Civil servants 2
No other profession 2
Others 9


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Copyright 1998 Inter-Parliamentary Union