Turnout for yesterday's European Parliament elections reached 78.81 percent, down from 82.4 percent for the same elections in 2004, according to figures issued by the Electoral Commission.

The figure, while being one of the lowest in a nation-wide election in Malta, is still expected to be the highest among the 27 EU countries which are holding elections for the European Parliament between last Thursday and today.

Turnout was highest in the fourth district, at 82.72% while the lowest was the 12th district (Mellieha, Naxxar, St Paul's Bay) with 72.06%.

Voting in the districts was as follows: first district - 80.03%; second district - 81.43%; third district - 81.90%; fourth district - 82.72%; fifth district - 79.79%; sixth district - 79.83%;

Seventh district - 81.61%; eighth district - 80%; ninth district - 75.98%; tenth district - 74.94%; eleventh district - 78.10%; twelfth district - 72.06% and district 13 - 76.73%.

A total of 254,084 people cast their votes. There was a total of 322,411 registered voters.

Ballot boxes are currently being transported to Naxxar counting hall, where they are being opened. The ballot papers are being placed face down in batches of 50. Sorting according to voting preferences starts at noon.

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