The Nationalist Party is to take court action against the Electoral Commission after it turned down its request to annul the early voting held at the prisons on Saturday because of irregularities.

The commission's decision to turn down the PN request was taken on Tuesday.

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. It had therefore called for the voting to take place once more.

The PN said it will file an urgent application requesting the court to:

  • Order the commission to open the sealed packets listing the persons entitled to vote at the prisons;
  • Open the packets holding the voting documents of those who cast their ballot;
  • Order the commission and the court registrars in Malta and Gozo to present a list of prisoners who have been disqualified from voting and the list handed to the commission.  
  • Declare that the Chief Electoral Commissioner and the commission failed in their duty to ensure that they received the required information from the registrars;
  • Cancel last Saturday's vote at the prisons and hold a new election on the basis of an updated list of prisoners that excludes ineligible voters.  

The PN is also asking the court to stop the opening of the ballot box used at the prisons on Saturday until a final decision on the application is taken.  

That ballot box is scheduled to be opened on Wednesday, for ballots to be sorted.  

Party general secretary  Michael Piccinino said the PN did not want anything to hinder next Saturday's general election and it was therefore asking the court to hear the case with urgency. 

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