11/03/2008 - Results
The Nationalist Party (PN) in power won the general elections in Malta on 8th March just edging ahead of its main rival, the Labour Party (MLP) led by Alfred Sant. Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi's party won 49.34% of the vote (-2.45 points in comparison with the previous general elections on 12th April 2003) and 33 seats in Parliament, in comparison with 48.79% (+ 1.28 points) and 32 seats for the main opposition party, - 1,580 votes difference. This is the smallest gap ever recorded between the two parties since independence in 1964.
The ecologist Democratic Alternative (AD), led by Harry Vassallo, won 1.31% of the vote but took no seats in Parliament. However he can be happy in that he almost doubled the number of votes won in comparison with the last general election. For its part National Alternative (AN) a nationalist, far right party created on 9th June 2007, led by former Nationalist Party member, Josie Muscat won 0.50% of the vote and will not be able to enter parliament either.
In line with tradition turn out was high at 93%, slightly lower than the figure recorded in the last general elections in 2003 (- 2.9 points).
"It is not a Nationalist Party victory but one for the Maltese," declared Joe Saliba, general secretary of the NP, on Sunday evening – nearly 24 hours after the closure of the polling stations when the final result was still unconfirmed. The Nationalist Party has governed Malta since 1987 apart from a short period of 22 months between 1996 and 1998.
"The question is simple: does the country want an honest, serious government which only the Labour Party is able to provide?" asked the Labour leader just two days before the elections. In spite of his electoral promises and many accusations of corruption with regard to the nationalist government, Alfred Sant did not convince most of the Maltese to provide him with their confidence. Admitting his third defeat in the general elections within 10 years he announced his resignation from the head of the party.
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, focussed his campaign on the economic results achieved by his government over the last five years: a public deficit that decreased from 10% of the GDP in 2004 to 1.6% in 2007, a reduction of the public debt (76% of the GDP in 2004 to 63% in 2007), a sharp rise in investments (a record level of direct foreign investment in 2007), one of the lowest inflation rates in the EU (1.7%), GDP growth at 4.3% (2007), higher than the EU average.
On 10th March the President of the Republic Eddie Fenech Adami (PN) called on Lawrence Gonzi to form his future government. During the electoral campaign the Prime Minister promised a severe reshuffle of his team if he won the elections.
General Election Results – 8th March 2008 in Malta
Turn out: 93.3%