Malta’s Labour party wins third term in general election victory

Malta’s Labour party has claimed victory in a general election, securing a third term in government despite a legacy of corruption and after the lowest turnout in decades.

If confirmed, this would be the prime minister Robert Abela’s first electoral mandate after replacing Joseph Muscat, who stood down as prime minister in January 2020 amid a government crisis stemming from the murder of the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Abela, the son of Malta’s former president George Abela, said in a brief interview to TVM News that Labour had won a majority, prompting celebrations among party supporters in the counting hall in Naxxar.

Bernard Grech, the leader of the Nationalist party (PN), congratulated Abela, and the deputy prime minister, Chris Fearne, said Labour’s victory was “sound”, although official results are not expected until the early hours of Monday, the Times of Malta reported.

“We are very satisfied that for the next five years Malta will again have a Labour government,” Fearne told AFP at the count, saying all the signs were of an absolute majority for his party.

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