Decision allowing under-18 local councillor to be deputy mayor revoked

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Carlos Zarb who contested local council elections on St Paul’s Bay will not become deputy mayor. This came following a directive that was set to come into effect on July 1, that allows councillors under the age of 18, who go the most votes after the mayor, to be elected deputy major, has been revoked.

In a post on Facebook, the 17-year-old newly elected local councillor said that he is hurt by the decision that stopped him from serving as a deputy mayor, saying that he only got to know about this decision three days before he took his oath.

Zarb had obtained 644 votes and was elected on first count, next to be elected was Daryl Connor who obtained with 592 votes while Alfred Grima who had obtained 994 votes, making him the candidate elected with most first count votes for Partit Laburista.

Article 25A (1) of the Local Councils Act states that “A person under eighteen years of age who is an elected councillor and who has obtained the majority of votes amongst the candidates of the party which obtains the majority of first count votes is not declared Mayor.” The article goes on to state that “the  provisions  of  sub-article  (1)  shall mutatis mutandis apply if there is a vacancy in the office of Deputy Mayor.”