Nationalist Party supporters in the ninth electoral district are spoilt for choice in this election, with three veteran lawyers and three mayors of PN strongholds among those who threw their names into the hat for a parliamentary seat.

Comprising Għarghur, Msida, San Ġwann, Swieqi and Ta’ Xbiex, the ninth district is a PN stronghold, with the party taking 56 per cent of the vote in the 2017 election, with a total of just over 13,000 votes against Labour’s 9,700 (42 per cent).

The smaller parties – Alleanza Bidla, Alternattiva Demokratika and Moviment Patrijotti Maltin together attracted 400 votes.

The Nationalist Party elected three candidates from the ninth district in 2017 – with Kristy Debono leading the way with over 4,000 first-count votes. She will not be contesting the election this time so it will be interesting to see who will be getting her votes.

Debono announced her intention not to stand for election in the first week of the campaign.

Marthese Portelli, elected in the 2017 election will also not be contesting this election after she resigned from parliament.

Portelli had been succeeded by Ivan Bartolo who then gave up his seat in 2020 to make way for the PN’s new leader, Bernard Grech.

Deputy leader Robert Arrigo was the PN’s final candidate elected on the district. He was also elected from the 10th district in 2017.

On the Labour front, the two candidates elected in the last general election were Michael Falzon and Clifton Grima.

Falzon was also elected from district 10 so his seat on the ninth district was taken by former minister Manuel Mallia who resigned from parliament in July.  He was replaced by  Jonathan Attard who is contesting other districts.

What to look out for

From the list of candidates on the PN ticket, the ninth district will see a battle for votes from lawyers Jason Azzopardi, Beppe Fenech Adami and newcomer Joe Giglio. This is the first time Azzopardi is contesting this district.

There will also be a battle between the mayors of PN strongholds Sliema, St Julian’s and Swieqi, Graziella Attard Previ, Albert Buttigieg and Noel Muscat, respectively.

Other candidates include MPs Karl Gouder and Karol Aquilina, who is contesting this district for the first time, as well as newcomers Graham Bencini and Emma Portelli Bonnici, recently targeted by hate speech comments on the social media.

This district will also have the youngest electoral candidate – 18-year-old activist Eve Borg Bonello – the president of the PN’s teenage wing TeamStart.

Borg Bonello will also contest the 10th district.

On the Labour side, four of the five candidates were already MPs in the past legislature.

The experienced MPs will be given a good run for their money by new candidate Rebecca Buttigieg, seen by many as a rising star in politics and who is also being pushed by the party machine.

What are the main issues?

Various surveys have shown that the most pressing concerns for the constituents of this district is lack of parking spaces and the environment.

Residents here are also concerned about traffic, the state of the roads in Swieqi, the environment in San Ġwann and rampant construction.

In this district, 32 per cent of people said nothing was bothering them.  

The candidates

Labour Party

Michael Falzon,

Edward Zammit Lewis,

Clifton Grima,

Rebecca Buttigieg,

Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi

Nationalist Party

Ivan Bartolo,

Jason Azzopardi,

Charles Selvaggi,

Beppe Fenech Adami,

Karl Gouder,

Robert Arrigo,

Karol Aquilina,

Joseph Giglio,

Noel Muscat,

Eve Borg Bonello,

Graziella Attard Previ,

Albert Buttigieg,

Graham Bencini,

Emma Portelli Bonnici


Stevey Ellul Bonici

Vanessa Vassallo


Carmel Cacopardo

Mark Anthony Zerafa

Mina Tolu

Partit Popolari 

Alexander D’Agata

Volt Malta

Alexia De Bono

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