The Nationalist Party leadership election is slowly becoming a footnote in the news cycle. Voting kicks off at 6pm, but it’s still gaining little attention from a public seemingly disinterested in the race to become Malta’s next opposition leader.
PN Leader Adrian Delia is facing a stiff challenge from Bernard Grech. He was forced into the leadership race after losing a series of confidence votes in the PN executive committee and parliamentary group in the wake of allegations linking him to Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect Yorgen Fenech.
It’s been three years of turmoil for Delia, who lost internal battles despite massive victories in the courtroom. Grech, on the other hand, is a complete unknown whose only political foray was an unsuccessful campaign against the introduction of divorce.
There’s been little on actual policy from the two men, trading occasional barbs at one another with little indication of concrete proposals to push the party out of crisis and ever-worsening electoral results.
Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming leadership race:
Just under 21,500 people are registered to vote in the leadership race. Due to COVID-19, the party has implemented a staggered voting approach that kicks off at 6pm today.
Voting will continue tomorrow on Saturday 26th September. The polls will reopen on Wednesday 30th September for vulnerable people or people with accessibility issues. The voting will continue on Thursday 1st October, Friday 2nd October, and Saturday 3rd October.
Eighteen polling stations will be set up across Malta and Gozo. On the weekend, the polls will be open from 8am to 9pm. On weekdays, they will be open from 6pm to 9pm.
On Saturday, the counting of votes will begin. A winner is expected to be announced that same evening.
Eligible voters are reminded to bring with them their voting document or their ID card or driver’s license. Failure to bring at least one of these would preclude a person from voting.
COVID-19 measures will be in place in voting stations around the island. People are encouraged to follow social distancing rules, while their temperature will also be taken upon entering the voting station. Wearing a mask is obligatory.
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