MaltaToday | 9 March 2008 | Leaders vote in atmosphere of serenity

NEWS | Sunday, 09 March 2008

Leaders vote in atmosphere of serenity

Gonzi: oozing confidence for the ‘best result’
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi yesterday morning claimed to be confident “that the electoral result will be one that suits the country, and that it would be the best result.”
Flanked by his wife Kate and their youngest son Paul, Lawrence Gonzi voted at Marsascala Primary School at 10am yesterday.
With his distinctive smile, the Nationalist Party leader made his way up to the school, occasionally greeting party representatives gathered in the 50 metre buffer zone.
Before casting his vote, he found time for his usual chat. Sealing a five-week campaign he shook my hand and politely enquired how I was doing. Asked whether he managed to catch up with some rest on Friday, a laughing Gonzi answered: “Oh well, not exactly…”
Taking his voting document out of his coat, he teased his wife by asking her whether she looked good on hers.
“She is a good competitor to your recent billboard,” I assured him, getting a typical Gonzi chuckle in reply.
Kate Gonzi remarked that, as usual, they wouldn’t be able to vote for Lawrence since he is contesting on the 2nd and on the 9th District, neither of which includes Wied il-Ghajn.
Answering to journalists’ questions after casting his vote, Prime Minister Gonzi commented on the atmosphere of serenity during the election.
“This means that people are capable to go through a democratic process with serenity and maturity,” the Premier said.

Sant: unfazed by rain, or accusations of mudslinging
Greeted by Labour supporters who defied the sudden downpour, Opposition leader Alfred Sant voted this afternoon at his polling place at Birkirkara primary school in Brared Street shortly after 2 pm.
Sant cast his vote in polling booth no. 322 under the watchful eyes of Chief Electoral Commissioner Edward Gatt and a posse of journalists and photographers.
As the car slowly approached the polling booth, the large crowd started applauding, chanting slogans and making victory signs in the direction of the car.
When he stepped out of the car, accompanied by the police and his security entourage, Sant walked through the crowd, shaking hands with people along the way.
Sant smiled as he conversed with the Assistant Electoral Commissioners who were on duty at the polling booth as he handed them his voting document.
Speaking to journalists shortly after getting out of the polling booth, Sant, who appeared in good spirits, said: “This has been a tranquil electoral campaign without any particular incidents. I hope that the electoral process continues to proceed throughout the day in an orderly manner as it has been proceeding till now.”

Vassallo: voting under shadow of arrest
Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) chairperson Harry Vassallo voted at 10.30 am at his polling station at the Sliema Primary School. He was accompanied by his wife Sue and other AD officials and candidates, including AD deputy chairperson Stephen Cachia.
Asked by MaltaToday to comment about the fact that he was now voting despite the notification of imprisonment served on him two days before the general elections, Vassallo said: “I am happy that I have the same right to vote as the other citizens of Malta.”
On Wednesday, Harry Vassallo was served with a court order of imprisonment for failing to pay a fine related to missing VAT returns 10 years earlier. The warrant had been issued five months earlier in September 2007, and only delivered on March 5 2008.

Muscat: casts his vote in technicolour
Sporting a brightly coloured top and jeans, a visibly energised Azzjoni Nazzjonali leader Josie Muscat arrived at the Marsaskala Primary school together with his wife Franka, and posted his vote yesterday at around 8.45am.
This is the same school where Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi voted later in the morning.
The former PN member of parliament, making a comeback at the helm of a new political grouping after 20 years in the political wilderness, told MaltaToday that: “first and foremost one should thank the Maltese people. They have been patient along these weeks in listening to all of us and what we had to say. Now we’ll see whether the citizens will give a lesson to our politicians.”

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