European Parliament president Roberta Metsola cast her vote for Malta’s general election on Saturday morning, as early voting got under way.

Metsola cast her vote at the Naxxar counting hall and urged all voters to take part in the ġeneral election.

“It is most important to participate in the democratic process, especially in the light of what is happening in Ukraine,” she said.

“This proves that democracy should be fought for every day. I appeal to all that have a duty to vote to cast their vote and choose their representatives.”

Metsola served as a Nationalist Party MEP until she was elected president of the European Parliament in January. She told Times of Malta earlier this month that she would be staying out of the electoral campaign and not appearing at any PN events. 

“I would think that the environment, the economy and corruption are at the very top of the concerns of the people that I talk to,” she said when asked what she believed would be the key issues in Malta's election. 

“Also, how we are going to exit from this pandemic both in terms of economic recovery, but also, importantly from a society point of view.”

Early voting begins

Around 11,000 people are eligible for early voting in the general election. The majority of those – just over 6,000 – are residents at homes for the elderly. Another 3,500 voters applied for early voting as they will be overseas or unavailable on March 26. Others who will vote early include prisoners who have not yet been sentenced.

As of Friday, more than 37,000 voting documents had not yet been collected – a figure described as being “fairly high” by the electoral commissioner. Documents can be collected from local police stations until 10pm on Saturday or 12pm on Sunday.

Voting for the March 26 election will, as is customary, be held at polling stations set up in each town or village.  

An exception will be made for anyone who is in forced COVID-19 quarantine or self-isolation on that date. Anyone in that position will instead vote at one of four specific COVID-19 polling stations being set up. Those stations will be located in Ta’ Qali, at the Life Sciences Park next to Mater Dei Hospital, at Smart City or next to the outdoor gym in Xewkija.

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