Nigel Holland, a veteran of Floriana local council, will once again serve as the town’s mayor, after winning the backing of the council’s two PN councillors.

It will be Holland’s fifth stint as Floriana mayor.

In a statement issued on Thursday, PN confirmed the agreement, saying that the party had agreed to nominate Holland as mayor and PN councillor James Aaron Ellul as vice-mayor.

A vote took place on Thursday afternoon and Holland was sworn in. 

The PN said it had reached the agreement with Holland “for the good of the locality and for the council to be able to function” after the PL, which won the highest number of votes, failed to establish a majority of seats.

Floriana was one of several towns across Malta and Gozo to emerge with a hung council after last month’s local council elections, after neither of the two main parties managed to win a majority in the five-seat council.

Labour won 44% of the all votes, to the PN’s 31%. Holland, who was standing in the name of Floriana L-Ewwel won almost 17% of the town’s votes.

But an initial vote taken last week to establish who was to serve as mayor faltered, with councillors failing to agree on a nominee.

PN councillor James Aaron Ellul, who won the most individual votes across the locality, told Times of Malta at the time that the party was adopting a “common position across all hung councils that any party that had the relative majority in that locality should try first to reach an agreement over the mayor’s seat. It had therefore been up to Labour councillors to first try strike a deal with Holland.

Holland will not be the only independent candidate to sit in the mayor's seat during this legislature. Steve Zammit Lupi, who also stood on an independent ticket, will serve as Żebbuġ mayor for the next five years. Meanwhile, Għarb L-Ewwel candidate David Agius Apap was re-elected mayor in the Gozitan town. 

In Mellieha, another locality with a hung council, where the PN won a relative majority of votes, independent councillor Matthew Borg Cuschieri will be vice mayor, after striking an agreement with the PN councillors. A PN councillor Gabriel Micallef, will be mayor.

Things are less clear in Birkirkara, following drama earlier this week. Labour proposed independent councillor Kaylocke Buhagiar to serve as mayor, but a Labour councillor, Yana Borg Debono Grech voted against, maintaining the stalemate. PN councillor Desirei Grech was appointed interim mayor for the next three months since she won most votes from the party which won the relative majority of votes in the locality. 

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