Labour leader Robert Abela on Wednesday said he hopes the PN will “respect the democratic process” after it took the Electoral Commission to court over concerns of voting irregularity.   

The Nationalist Party has filed court action to force a re-take of voting at prison, after concerns were raised that ineligible voters were allowed to cast their ballot. 

A court on Wednesday provisionally upheld an injunction requested by the party late on Tuesday, ensuring ballot boxes containing prisoners' votes remain sealed for the time being. 

The PN filed the legal bid after the Electoral Commission turned down its request to annul the early voting held at the prisons on Saturday. 

Robert Abela speaking of the case on Wednesday. Video: Jonathan Borg

Asked for his reaction to the developments, Abela said the electoral process is the electoral commission’s responsibility and that the commission enjoys the trust of both major parties. 

“I have full trust in the process and the commission. There is now a process before the constitutional court. I hope the Nationalist Party will be respecting the democratic process,” he said.  

Abela said that the Labour Party was not yet part of the court process initiated by the PN. 

He added that there is a remedy in the constitution that could have been used, but the PN had not availed itself of this. Abela did not expand on this point. 

On Monday, the PN said that prisoners sentenced for more than a year of imprisonment had been allowed to vote despite being ineligible according to law.

Ballot boxes containing votes cast in that early voting session were due to be opened by the electoral commission for sorting on Wednesday. But that will not happen for now. 

A hearing concerning the PN's request is scheduled for 3 pm on Wednesday.

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