Malta's MEPs - four incumbents, two newcomers
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Malta's MEPs - four incumbents, two newcomers

Cuschieri moves from local councillor to MP, and, soon, MEP

The long vote-counting process which ended last night returned the five candidates who will take Malta's seats in the European Parliament, and the candidate who will join them once the sixth seat is allocated to Malta.

There will be no change on the Nationalist side, with Simon Busuttil and David Casa having been re-elected. Labour incumbents Louis Grech and John Attard Montalto will be joined by newcomers Edward Scicluna and Joseph Cuschieri, with Glenn Bedingfield having lost his seat.

SIMON BUSUTTIL SOLIDIFIES HIS LEAD

Dr Busuttil was the runaway winner, having been elected with 68,782 first count votes when the quota was 41,362.

He was also the first candidate to be elected five years ago but has since built on that success.

A lawyer by profession, Dr Busuttil drew respect from friend and foe for his work in the European Parliament.

He headed the Malta-EU Information Centre before Malta joined the EU and was also a member of Malta's Core Negotiating Group.

Dr Busuttil entered the political fray as a youth, having been president of the Christian Democrat Students. He was also active in the University Students' Council.

In the European Parliament, Dr Busuttil was particularly active in budgetary affairs, immigration policy, Euro-Mediterranean policy and the citizens' EU rights.

Dr Busuttil is married,with two sons.

DAVID CASA KEEPS HIS SEAT

David Casa has retained the second seat to be won by the Nationalist Party in the European Parliament, achieving his quota on the count before last as all the other candidates were eliminated and their votes redistributed.

Before EU membership, Mr Casa was one of founding members and subsequently secretary general of the Moviment Iva, an organisation which played a leading campaigning role ahead of the EU referendum.

Mr Casa was secretary of the Malta-EU Steering and Action Committee (MEUSAC) and subsequently served as advisor and personal assistant to Prof Guido de Marco during his tenure as Minister of Foreign Affairs and deputy Prime Minister.

Over the past five years as MEP, David Casa was rapporteur on the European Fisheries Fund and the Report on Slovakia's entry into the Eurozone. He was also appointed EPP-Ed spokesman on several other subjects, most notably the report on the European Social Agenda and more particularly on the European Globalisation Fund.

LOUIS GRECH TOPS LABOUR CANDIDATES

Louis Grech has retained his seat in the European Parliament, coming in first among the Labour candidates in Saturday's election.

The former Air Malta chairman was the third Labour candidate to be elected to the EP in 2004 and there had been doubts about his re-election but his chances appeared to be boosted thanks to his performances in broadcast interviews.

An economics graduate from the University of Malta, Mr Grech is a Rhodes scholar in Balliol College, University of Oxford.

Mr Grech also served as a director of Bank of Valletta, the Central Bank of Malta, Middle Sea Insurance and Middle Sea Investment. He was also founder trustee of the Foundation for International Studies, a member of the Industrial Tribunal, honorary president of the Malta Amateur Athletic Association and in 1967 was the Maltese representative for Athletics in the Mediterranean Games.

In the European Parliament, Mr Grech was vice-chairman of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and of the Delegation for relations with the Korean Peninsula.

He was also a member of the EP delegation for relations with Australia and New Zealand and the delegation to the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly.

Mr Grech also served as substitute member on the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, the Delegation to the EU-Croatia Joint Parliamentary Committee and the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

SUCCESS FOR EDWARD SCICLUNA

Economics Professor Edward Scicluna became the first newcomer to win a seat in the European Parliament, being elected second on the Labour ticket

The economics professor is no newcomer to the electoral process, but he was previously on the other end of the fence, having served as electoral commissioner, an interviewer in political broadcasts and an analyst of voting patterns.

Prof Scicluna studied in Oxford, Toronto and Malta and is the head of the Department of Economics at the University .

He served as chairman of the Malta Council of Economic and Social Development (MCESD) and was chairman of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA).

He was also director of the Central Bank of Malta and of MIB Ltd and a board member on the National Euro Changeover Committee.

Married, with two adult children and a granddaughter, Prof Scicluna's campaign slogan was Ability, Experience and Credibility.

ATTARD MONTALTO MAKES SURPRISE COMEBACK

Many people had written off his chances, but Labour MEP John Attard Montalto yesterday staged a remarkable comeback in vote-counting to vault to third among the four Labour candidates to be elected, having benefited from the inheritance of voting preferences.

A former Industry Minister, in the Sant government, Dr Attard Montalto was born in Sliema in 1953. He graduated with an honours degree in history in 1974 and became a lawyer in 1980.

He was very active in the University Students' Representative Council and also represented the Students' Body in the University Senate. He worked as a tourist guide and a teacher before starting to practice law, specialising in commercial and criminal law. He was appointed legal consultant to the GWU, a position he still holds.

Dr Attard Montalto entered the political fray in the Labour youth movement in 1971 and successfully contested his first general election in 1987, after which he was appointed Opposition spokesman on maritime affairs. He was elected from two districts in 1992 and became Opposition spokesman on Justice. He repeated his success in 1996 and became Minister for Industry.

Dr Attard Montalto was also elected from two districts in 1998, becoming shadow minister for industry. He was also elected in 2004 but a year later gave up his seat after also being successful in the first election to the European Parliament.

In the EP he has served on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and a substitute member on the Committee on Transport and Tourism. He was also a substitute member on the Committee on Human Rights.

Dr Attard Montalto was a member in the Delegation for Relations with the Gulf States and a substitute member in the Delegation for Relations with Australia and New Zealand.

JOSEPH CUSCHIERI TO GET A NEW SEAT

Joseph Cuschieri, who handed his parliamentary seat to new Labour leader Joseph Muscat last year, will take up Malta's sixth seat in the European Parliament once it is allocated to Malta in terms of the Lisbon Treaty. He will be given observer status in January.

Born in 1968 and resident in St Julian's, Mr Cuschieri becomes the first Maltese to have served as local councillor and MP and, soon as an MEP.

He was elected to the Maltese Parliament for the first time in 1998 and was re-elected in 2003 and 2008. He was Opposition spokesman on local councils, Air Malta and tourism.

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