LIVE: “Robert tagħna l-mexxej” sing supporters as Abela sails into PL leadership

Updated 10:46 AM

Chris Cardona calls victory for Abela

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

01:01h: Chris Cardona calls out for Robert Abela victory on facebook. 

00:28h: Supporters sing “Robert tagħna il-Mexxej” as Abela seems set to win the leadership race. As the votes are conted, the 60%+ lead which Abela has taken has not faltered.

22:15h: As the boxes open, the ballots are sorted face down. The will be turned face up and counted from 23:00h. Christoph Schwaigar reportes from Hamrun. 

20:45h: Some 1,314 of the 17,000 who were eligible to vote in Saturday evening’s PL leadership election failed to turn up. As the ballots closed, the data supplied by the Labour Party indicated a 92.5% turnout.

Earlier

Some 17,000 paid up members of Partit Laburista will be voting to elect a new party leader on Saturday. With polling stations set in various party clubs, the party has divided the country into thirteen districts where paid up members can vote.

Two contestants, Chris Fearne who serves as Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister, and Robert Abela, an MP and legal consultant to the government are both seeking to replace outgoing Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

Muscat announced that he will step down after a new leader of the party is chosen. He announced this, following the arraignment of Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect, Electrogas Director and 17 Black owner Yorgen Fenech. The murder investigation had sparked the resignation of OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri who is currently under police investigation in relation to the murder, over tampering of evidence and a phantom job given to self-confessed middle man Melvin Theuma. As well as the resignation of Konrad Mizzi from his ministerial post.

Newsbook.com.mt will keep its readers updated throughout the day and night.

3.15pm Partit Laburista issued a statement saying that 58.3% of 17,531 eligible paid up members had voted by 2.30pm on Saturday.

2pm: Several were seen waiting outside Santa Venera PL club.

1.40pm: Qormi PL club was rather empty when we visited. Members who paid their membership fee at Qormi, Siġġiewi and Luqa.

12.45pm: People were seen lined up outside Fgura PL club with some people saying that they had been waiting for more than hour.

12.15pm: PL MEP Alex Agius Saliba described the day as a “historical day” for the country and the party as their paid up members get to vote. In his comments to Newsbook.com.mt, Agius Saliba said that many went out to vote on Saturday. He added that he was sure that whoever would elected would continue to work for the party.

12.15pm: In his comments to Newsbook.com.mt, Agius Saliba described election day as a ‘historical day’

12.00pm: PL MEP Alex Agius Saliba and MP Glen Bedingfield were seen outside Teatru Rialto in Cospicua.

11.45am: Earlier on PL MEP Glen Bedingfield was seen voting at the Teatru Rialto Cospicua.

Ivvotajt f’Bormla ghall-Elezzjoni ta’ Mexxej Laburista Gdid u Prim Ministru ta’ Malta.

Posted by Glenn Bedingfield on Friday, January 10, 2020

11.17am: Many were seen queuing outside Msida PL club. People paying their memberships in the following localities Għargħur, Imsida, San Ġwann, Swieqi, and Ta’ Xbiex, will vote at the Msida club.

Monique Agius

11.12am: Parliamentary Secretary and Partit Laburista activist Julia Farrugia Portelli voted at Rabat PL club.

Grazzi li intom Laburisti. Nivvutaw kmieni u wara gawdu lill-familji gojjelli taghkom

Posted by Julia Farrugia Portelli on Friday, January 10, 2020

11:08am Partit Laburista MEP Alex Agius Saliba visted a number of Partit Laburista clubs around the island which were turned into polling stations for the leadership election.

Inżuru ftit postijiet tal-votazzjoni – Grazzi 5️⃣ Distrett!Awguri Robert Abela u Chris Fearne 🇲🇹

Posted by Alex Agius Saliba on Saturday, January 11, 2020

11:06am Owen Bonnici who serves as a Justice Minister appeals to Partit Laburista paid up members to go out and vote.

11:04am Partit Laburista hopeful Chris Fearne said that he voted at the Fgura Partit Laburista club earlier on.

10:37am Partit Laburista leadership hopeful Robert Abela took to Facebook to encourage paid up members to vote in the leadership election. He insisted that each vote counts.

10:29am Outgoing Partit Laburista leader Joseph Muscat and his wife Michelle Muscat were seen emerging from Naxxar PL club after Joseph Muscat cast his vote.

Outside a number of people waited to greet him and take photos with the two.

10:17am Outgoing Partit Laburista leader Joseph Muscat and his wife Michelle, arrive at Naxxar PL club. With the media all cooped up in a room upstairs, the Muscats make their way to the polling station. Muscat was greeted by the party agents inside. Joseph Muscat cast his vote for his successor. Michelle Muscat said that she had voted earlier at the Rabat Partit Laburista club. According to PL rules, paid up members vote at the party club where they pay their membership.

9:40am Newsbook.com.mt arrived at Naxxar PL club where Muscat is expected to arrive and vote.

9.20am There was practically no one outside Partit Laburista’s headquarters in Ħamrun bar a few workers who seem to be setting up for tonight. This evening, the ballot boxes will arrive at Partit Laburista Headquarters in Ħamrun. A party spokesperson explained that this will happen around 9.30-9.45pm. Following the arrival of the boxes, the electoral commission will reconcile the votes.

Earlier on Joe Mizzi who serves as Energy Minister was seen entering the party headquarters and left after 10 minutes.

Monique Agius

7.45am: Voting begins

Who are the candidates?

Polling stations around the island

First District – Ċentru Laburista, Santa Venera

  • Il-Belt Valletta
  • Furjana
  • Il-Ħamrun
  • Il-Marsa
  • Tal-Pietà
  • Santa Venera

Second District – Teatru Rialto, Bormla

  • Il-Birgu
  • L-Isla
  • Bormla
  • Ħaż-Żabbar
  • Il-Kalkara
  • Ix-Xgħajra

Third District – Ċentru Labursita, Żejtun

  • Iż-Żejtun
  • Ħal Għaxaq
  • Marsaskala
  • Marsaxlokk

Fourth District – Ċentru Laburista, Fgura

  • Il-Fgura
  • Il-Gudja
  • Paola
  • Santa Luċija
  • Ħal Tarxien

Fifth District – Ċentru Laburista, Qrendi

  • Birżebbuġa
  • Ħal Kirkop
  • L-Imqabba
  • Il-Qrendi
  • Ħal Safi
  • Iż-Żurrieq

Sixth District – Ċentru Laburista, Ħal Qormi

  • Ħal Qormi
  • Is-Siġġiewi
  • Ħal Luqa

Seventh District – Ċentru Laburista, Rabat

  • Ħaż-Żebbuġ (Malta)
  • Ħad-Dingli
  • L-Imġarrr
  • L-Imtarfa
  • Ir-Rabat (Malta)
  • Il-Baħrija

Eighth District – Ċentru Laburista, Ħal Lija

  • Ħal Balzan
  • Birkirkara
  • L-Iklin
  • Ħal Lija

Ninth District – Ċentru Laburista, Imsida

  • Ħal Għargħur
  • L-imsida
  • San Ġwann
  • Is-Swieqi
  • Ta’ Xbiex

Tenth District – Teatru Orpheum, Gżira

  • Il-Gżira
  • Pembroke
  • San Ġiljan
  • Tas-Sliema

Eleventh District – Ċentru Laburista, Mosta

  • Ħ’Attard
  • Il-Mosta

Twelfth District – Ċentru Laburista, Naxxar

  • Il-Mellieħa
  • In-Naxxar
  • San Pawl il-Baħar

Thirteenth District – Ċentru Laburista, Ta’ Sannat

  • Il-lokalitajiet kollha ta’ Għawdex