Update 3 - Three women elected to the European Parliament
Three women were elected MEPs in casual elections today.
Marlene Mizzi (PL), Roberta Metsola Tedesco Triccas (PN) and Claudette Abela Baldacchino (PL) were elected to fill the seats vacated by Simon Busuttil, Edward Scicluna and Louis Grech respectively following their election to the Maltese parliament and their resignation from the EP.
Vote-counting in the casual elections was held at Naxxar counting hall.
This is the first time that Malta has any women in the European Parliament. The new MEPs will hold their seats for a year, when the scheduled European Parliament elections are held.
Labour candidate Marlene Mizzi was the first to be elected, easily winning the seat vacated by Prof Edward Scicluna.
Ms Mizzi won 23,977 votes, well ahead of Claudette Abela Baldacchino, who came second with 4,252.
In initial comments Ms Mizzi said she had always believed in the European Union and despite being elected on the Labour ticket, she would work in the national interest.
Metsola Tedesco Triccas, who was elected some hours later, also said she would work in the national interest, saying she would like to focus on the issue of migration and on the economy.
Claudette Baldacchino, elected at about 6 p.m. said she would work for the creation of a social Europe.
Among those who visited the counting hall this morning were Dr Busuttil, Mario de Marco and Raymond Bugeja, all PN leadership contenders.
Dr de Marco said that next May's European Parliament election would be the first big test for the Nationalist Party after the massive defeat in March, and its main aim must be the election of a third PN candidate.
The party, he said, should start the process of choosing its candidates as early as possible so that they could start working for this result.
He said MEPs had a tough job representing a small country with just six seats in the European Parliament so they had to have the ability to integrate and form allies with other MEPs representing larger countries.
Dr de Marco spoke about the need for European Parliamentarians, MPs in the local Parliament, their constituencies and the party to work in synergy in the national interest. He said the PN should strengthen its information office to help its parliamentarians in their work.