Partit Demokratiku today said its success in electing a member of parliament was a strong mandate for change.

In a statement, PD said it would continue to rally for equal opportunity for all, for human rights and rule of law, social justice, diversity and inclusivity, and said the seat won by its leader Marlene Farrugia would be "the people’s seat."

“Our party has never had one, overriding ideological or political leaning – we strive to challenge each other’s beliefs and open the space for dialogue on all issues. The Partit Demokratiku will continue to be an inclusive group of people with different ideas, hailing from all walks of life and working together purely for the good of the country and the people,” it said.

PD candidates contested the election on the Nationalist Party ticket, with the words 'Tal-Orangio' alongside candidates' names distinguishing them as representing PD. 

In total, PD candidates received 4,846 votes, or 1.56% of all votes cast in the 2017 general election. Party leader Dr Farrugia secured a seat on the 10th district, a traditional PN stronghold.  

The young party was immediately thrown into disarray yesterday when Dr Farrugia, at a press conference convened following her electoral success, refused to rule out seeking the PN leadership for herself. 

"At this stage I cannot exclude anything," she told reporters. 

Read: PD deputy leader resigns post over Marlene Farrugia comments

The comments were met with dismay by party deputy leader Anthony Buttigieg, who quickly announced on Facebook that he was stepping down as Dr Farrugia's deputy following her comments.

"Merging the PD with the PN goes completely opposite to my hopes, aspirations and philosophy," he wrote on Facebook.

In its statement, PD made no reference to the resignation.

The PD promised to play its role as a coalition partner, “to ensure that we are not a negative opposition but a constructive, active one."

“We will work together on the good and push for more good, and engage in thoughtful dialogue to change and challenge the bad."