Two new MPs sworn in

Ivan Bartolo David Thake

Ivan J. Bartolo and David Thake are Malta’s two newest MPs after being formally sworn in at the start of today’s parliamentary sitting.

Both MPs were elected to parliament in a casual election yesterday.

Bartolo, who was sworn in first, won the 9th district seat vacated by Marthese Portelli. Thake, meanwhile, inherited the 12th district seat vacated by former PN leader Simon Busuttil, who has been made secretary-general of the European People’s Party.

Ivan Bartolo, and Ivan J. Bartolo

As a result of Bartolo’s electoral victory, there are now two Nationalist MPs sharing the same name: the other is the former mayor of Mosta, who was elected in 2017 in a casual election for a seat which was also vacated by Busuttil.

To distinguish between the two, the new MP is being identified as Ivan J. Bartolo in Parliament, with Speaker Anġlu Farrugia making sure to mention his middle initial during swearing in. Bartolo himself quipped that he’s earned himself a “J” as a result of his election, while his namesake continues to be named as “Ivan Bartolo” on Parliament’s website.

A different impression from outside – Bartolo

In a brief address, Bartolo welcomed the applause afforded to the two new MPs by both sides of the house, stating that as an outsider he was pleased to see Thake – a prominent government critic – received a warm reception from Labour MPs.

“You get a different impression when you watch from the outside,” he said.

Bartolo said that he felt humbled to be in Parliament, and said that he wished to ensure that the atmosphere he had just witnessed would continue to prevail throughout his time in Parliament.

He said that he had known – and respected – a number of government MPs for a long time, and expressed his hopes that both sides of the house would work together to achieve progress.

Thake thanks family for their help

On his part, Thake said that it was a privilege to address parliament as an MP.

He paid tribute to Busuttil, before thanking his family “for their patience, and for the help they have provided me to help me embark on a political career.”

Thake also thanked his late parents, “who gave me a sense of right or wrong,” and said that he hoped that as a result, he would be able to do what was just for Malta.