Updated 10.30pm with Cardona reaction

Chris Cardona will be Labour’s new deputy leader for party affairs after winning the majority of the delegates’ votes today.

In a run off with Owen Bonnici, the Economy Minister polled obtained 389 votes or 53.4 per cent of the votes. Dr Bonnici won 339 votes.

A total of 737 or the 763 delegates voted in today’s election.

Speaking to the media, Dr Cardona said the PL must now focus on building bridges both internally and externally.

He said party delegates showed their enthusiasm during the month-long election campaign. This enthusiasm will be used to help the PL regain its strength, ensuring both a strong party and strong government.

Dr Bonnici said the PL had emerged stronger from this election with a clear vote in favour of Dr Cardona.

Dr Bonnici pledged his full support to the new deputy leader.

The two faced off today after Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi was eliminated in the first vote last night.

Dr Zrinzo Azzopardi was eliminated after finishing third in the vote, with his 213 votes falling just shy of Dr Bonnici's 224. Dr Cardona won 310 votes yesterday.

Dr Cardona, 44, is a lawyer by profession and has been an MP for five legislatures, having been first elected in 1996.

This was the second time he contested the PL's deputy leadership, having first thrown his hat in the ring back in 2008 - albeit for the post of deputy leader for parliamentary, not party affairs. He lost that race to Anglu Farrugia, who now serves as Speaker of the House.

He is currently the Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business.

The election was held just four months after Konrad Mizzi was elected to the post in a one-horse race. Dr Mizzi resigned after he was implicated in the Panama Papers scandal. 


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