Election Playbook: The Final Countdown to a New Tomorrow (or same yesterday...)

It’s Day 32 and the election campaign has come to an official close – here's how the final day went down

It’s the final rally: Both parties put on a tour de force for their last rallies of the election campaign. The Nationalist Party finished off their campaign in Pjazza San Ġorġ, while the Labour Party went back to the MFCC. Undecided voters have become the real protagonist this election, with both parties making their own appeal to the “I don’t knows”. Labour went full Eurovision in its final rally, with darling Mary Spiteri belting out 'We Are the World’ and Ġensna classic ‘Tema 79’. Meanwhile PN supporters jammed to dad rock hits like Bon Jovi's ‘It's My Life’ and Beastie Boys’ ‘Fight For Your Right’ – apart from the obvious classics like ‘We Take the Chance’. 

Of treating and mistreating: One photo made the rounds on social media showing a €10 fuel voucher stapled to a campaign leaflet by PL candidate Edward Cassar Delia. Technically, any person who gives or provides food, drink, entertainment or provision to someone with the intent of influencing their vote is guilty of treating, and possibly liable to a €1,160 fine or six months imprisonment. Cassar Delia denied handing out the vouchers, arguing anyone could have stapled the voucher to the leaflet. However, it’s good to note recall other candidates who have offered gifts to their constituents, including PL candidate Ray Abela with his virtual reality headsets and former parliamentary secretary Rosianne Cutajar with her women’s day videos. 

Cassola the election heckler: Independent candidate Arnold Cassola asked the Police Commissioner to investigate allegations of a corrupt racket at Identity Malta after receiving an anonymous letter detailing the claims. Six people seem to be involved in the racket, which saw two workers at Identity Malta receiving commissions from a local real estate agency who would sell luxury properties to foreign IIP applicants. Apart from this, he ended his campaign with a final appeal – the Opposition doesn’t just have to be the Nationalist Party. Independent MPs and those of third parties are just as valuable to Malta’s democracy as the PN or PL. 

Grech could recontest PN leadership: Bernard Grech put potential contenders on notice, saying that he will contest the Nationalist Party leadership again if he loses the election on Saturday. The PN statute says that if the party loses an election a leadership contest will have to take place. Grech said he will respect the statute rules but made it clear that he will be dedicating all his energy to push forward the party’s vision. If things go his way, this year’s election might not be Grech’s last. Time will tell where he will take this party over the coming years.  

Rosianne Cutajar breaches ethics: The Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly’s (PACE) committee on rules of procedure voted that there was a serious breach of its rules of conduct by Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar. PACE says Cutajar failed to disclose her conflict of interest in speaking out against a public inquiry into the Caruana Galizia assassination. She was first accused of breaching ethics by Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt for her close link with Yorgen Fenech when she used her seat at the Council of Europe to argue against the public inquiry. She has since resigned her position as Labour MP delegate to PACE, but the committee will not prepare and publish a report, and inform the Speaker of the Maltese parliament accordingly. Who knows what Cutajar’s fate will be on Saturday, and whether the public will again put their trust in her to become an MP once again. 

The election doesn’t stop here: This might have been the last Election Playbook, but we will continue covering the election through Friday or Saturday, although our coverage will be limited within the parameters of the “day of reflection”. In the meantime, read up on our election myth busters and take a look at our analysis on undecided voters.