Updated 10. 22 p.m.

Polling stations dotted across Malta and Gozo closed at 10 p.m. today at the end of voting for the election of five Members of the European Parliament. Voting also took place in 23 localities to elect local councils.

The voting process was generally calm, with people keeping a steady stream into the polling stations. The only incident was reported at Zejtun, where the Police said a PN supporter was injured when he was punched during an argument between rival supporters.

Turnout for the European Parliament elections reached 34 percent up to 2 p.m., the Electoral Commission said in the afternoon, while turnout for the local council elections averaged 33 percent.

The figures mean that turnout for the EP elections was down 4% compared to 2004.

In the last council elections held with EP elections, turnout was 35% by 2 p.m. (although the localities were different).

A breakdown of voting in the European Parliament elections shows turnout highest in the first district at 42 percent, dropping to a mere 21 percent in the 12th district - although for the election Malta and Gozo are considered as a single constituency.

District 1

42%

District 2

35%

District 3

37%

District 4

39%

District 5

25%

District 6

37%

District 7

33%

District 8

36%

District 9

36%

District 10

37%

District 11

36%

District 12

21%

District 13

31%

ZEJTUN INCIDENT

The police in a statement said the incident at Zejtun happened at about 3.30 p.m. following an argument between rival political supporters. A supporter of the PN suffered slight injuries.

A man was arrested and the police are looking for another, informed sources said.

The PN said it had filed a complaint with the Electoral Commission.

The PL said the alleged incident involved a private person who was in no way representative of the PL.

It said it condemned all forms of provocation and reaction and hoped action would be taken according to law.

The PL also accused the PN of violating an agreement on the actions of the broadcasting stations in the run-up to polling. It said the PN had irresponsibly blown up this incident to cause alarm.

The Nationalist Party said the PL was trying to find excuses for what its supporters did in Zejtun

It said one of the PL supporters had entered the polling station and stayed there for a considerable time without authorisation. Yet the PL was trying to justify this arrogant, intimidatory and violent behaviour by claiming provocation. This was just an excuse for the party to defend supporters who had found their way back into the party under the leadership of Joseph Muscat. These people, who had not appeared much over the past few years, were now back in the forefront of PL activity, the PN said.

The PN also claimed that the PL broke directives of the Broadcasting Authority by carrying political messages on its media on the Day of Reflection on Friday.

Dr Muscat had today even given comments within a distance of less than 50m from a polling station. This, the PN said, showed that the Muscat leadership had defied the laws.

ATTENTION TURNS TO NAXXAR COUNTING HALL

The well oiled organisational machine of the Electoral Commission and the political parties sprang into action early in the morning when the ballot boxes were checked and sealed in the presence of party representatives and a small army of assistant electoral commissioners who will man the polling stations until closing time at 10 p.m. There were a total of 620 ballot boxes for the EP and local elections, 542 of them in Malta and the rest in Gozo.

As polling stations closed at 10 p.m., ballot boxes were sealed and they started being transferred to Naxxar counting hall under police escort.

The first boxes to arrive at Naxxar, at about 11 p.m.. were those from Ta' Xbiex, followed by those from Luqa.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us