Zebbug Local Council Elections: 1993 - 2012.

Since 1993, when local government, or local councils, as we know them to-day,
were institutionalised,
(Laws of Malta, Chapter 363, Act XV of 1993, et seq.)
six elections were held at the locality of Zebbug, Malta,
or as locally known Haz-Zebbug.


(There is another village with practically the same name, Zebbug, in Gozo, the sister island of Malta,)

Read an account in brief points-form about local authorities from 1773 to 1993 for a background on the subject. Click this link to go to the account.

THE FIRST LOCAL COUNCIL LEGISLATURE – 1993/1996.

After the results of the election became known, the first ballot to elect the officials of the newly institutionalised Local Council was held on the 20th November, 1993, at the Council’s premises in Bishop Caruana Street. The elected Councillors were: Miss Filippa Attard, Mr. Francis Bezzina, Mr. Carmelo Cascun, Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar, Dr. Godfrey Farrugia, Architect Mr. Nicholas Grech, Dr. Gavin Gulia, Dr. Jeffrey Pullcino Orlando, and Mr. Mark Anthony Sammut. The first Local Council meeting, to elect a Mayor and Vice-Mayor, was held a few days later, that is on Friday 3rd December, 1993 at 8.00 p.m. All elected Councillors were present. Voting was carried out by secret vote as requested by law. Mr Philip Borg was the first Secretary at the meeting, albeit enjoying an "acting" status. As required by law, Ms Filippa Attard, the most senior Councillor, chaired the meeting. The election for the Mayor yielded this result in the first ballot: Dr Godfrey Farrugia 7 votes, Dr Gavin Gulia 1 vote. There was one abstention.

legislature 1993/1996
Pauline Azzopardi was elected councillor to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of Dr Gavin Gulia.
Front row - left to right:
Pauline Azzopardi
Elizabeth Spiteri, Executive Secretary
Godfrey Farrugia
Emmanuel Cutajar
Fillippa Attard
Back row - left to right:
Nicholas Grech
Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando
Francis Bezzina
Carmel Cascun
Mark Sammut.

Dr. Godfrey Farrugia was therefore elected Mayor on the first ballot. The election for Vice-Mayor had this result: Mr Emmanuel Cutajar 5 votes, Mr Carmelo Cascun 1 vote, Architect Mr Nicholas Grech one vote. There were two abstentions. Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar was therefore elected Vice-Mayor. During the second meeting of the Zebbug Local Council which was held on Saturday 18th December, 1993 at 2.30 p.m. Dr. John Laferla, the then Commissioner of Oaths, administered the oath of office to the newly elected Mayor and Vice-Mayor. On the 4th September 1995, Dr. Gavin Gulia resigned. Mr Saviour Formosa was not elected in the by-election held to fill the vacancy. During the Council meeting held on the 23rd September, 1995 Councillor Carmel Cascun proposed the nomination of candidates to fill the vacancy. Ms Pauline Azzopardi, Mrs Ivy Gatt and Mr Saviour Formosa were duly nominated and seconded by the Mayor, Dr. Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando and Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar, respectively. The Mayor’s casting vote elected Ms Pauline Azzopardi.

THE SECOND LOCAL COUNCIL LEGISLATURE - 1996/1999.

The second Council elections for Mayor and Vice-Mayor were held in the premises of the Zebbug Local Council in Bishop Caruana Street on Monday lst. April, 1996 at 8.00 p.m. after the results of the elections were known.
The elected Councillors were : Miss Filippa Attard, Mr. Carmelo Attard, Mr. Francis Bezzina, Mr. Pius Cilia, Mr. Raymond Cortis, Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar, Dr. Godfrey Farrugia, Dr. Marlene Pullicino and Mrs. Catherine Sammut.
The most senior Councillor, Miss Filippa Attard, chaired the meeting to elect the new Mayor. The Deputy Secretary during the meeting was Francesca Pace Gambin.
Dr Godfey Farrugia was elected Mayor during the first ballot. The ballots to elect the Vice-Mayor were inconclusive after the fourth attempt. The election was postponed for the following Council Meeting, which was held on Saturday 6th April 1996 at 2.00 p.m.
The Mayor informed the Council that he was not going to take part in the election for Vice Mayor. The first item on the agenda for the subsequent meeting, held on 10th April, 1996, was the election of Vice-Mayor. Once again, there was not a conclusive vote. The third part of the same agenda was to be discussed on the 18th April. The election of Vice-Mayor item featured again prominently in the day’s business. Just prior to the meeting Dr John Laferla, the then Commissioner of Oaths, administered the Oath of Office to the new Mayor. The two runners up, Mr Francis Bezzina and Mr Carmelo Attard, both polled four votes each. By casting the Mayor’s casting vote, Mr Francis Bezzina was elected Councillor.
legislature 1996/1999
From left to right:
Rina Pace Gambin, executive secretary
Carmen Sammut
Godfrey Farrugia
Carmel Cachia
Rayond Cortis
Marlene Pullicino Orlando
Francis BezzinaPio Cilia
Emanuel Cutajar
This picture was taken
on the 9th March, 1996
at the Prime Minister's Office at Castille,after the investiture ceremony of the newly elected councillors.

There was another resignation during this legislature, that of Ms Catherine Sammut. A by-election was held on the 13th October, 1997 during a Council Meeting. Mr. Domnic Zammit was elected Councillor. His first attendance was on the 17th October, 1997.

THE THIRD LOCAL COUNCIL LEGISLATURE - 1999/2002.

The councillors elected are pictured here at the Prime Minister's office at Castille, right after the investiture ceremony, which was held on 13th March, 1999. This turned to be quite a colourful legislature with a number of new formations following resignations and re-elections to fill vacancies. Further details are in the text under this section.
The original group, whose images are in the picture are:
left to right:
Emanuel Cutajar
Eric Cilia
Philip Schembri
Paul Bonnici
Philip Mifsud
Dominic Zammit
Cindy Zammit
Filippa Attard
Francis Bezzina
and Rena Pace Gambin,
the council's executive secretary.

The third Council elections to elect a Mayor and a Vice-Mayor were held in the premises of the Zebbug Local Council in Bishop Caruana Street on Monday lst. April, 1999 at 8.00 p.m. It is to be noted that according to the law at that time, the officials were elected by the vote of choice of the Councillors.
The candidates elected were Miss Filippa Attard, Mr. Francis Bezzina, Mr. Paul Bonnici, Mr. Eric Cilia, Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar, Architect Mr. Philip Mifsud, Mr. Philip Schembri, Mr. Domnic Zammit and Miss Sandy Zammit.
The election for the Mayor was inconclusively attempted during the first Council meeting after the elections, on Monday 5th April, 1999 at 7.00 p.m. Those present were Miss Filippa Attard, Mr. Francis Bezzina, Mr. Paul Bonnici, Mr. Eric Cilia, Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar, Architect Mr. Philip Mifsud, Mr. Domnic Zammit and Miss Sandy Zammit. Mr. Philip Schembri, an elected candidate, resigned at 6.50 p.m. on this very same day . The Executive Secretaty was Francesca Pace Gambin. Mr. Paul Bonnici, Mr. Eric Cilia, Mr. Domnic Zammit and Miss Sandy Zammit left the Council chamber just after the reading of Mr Philip’s Schembri resignation. This strategy rendered the meeting out of order due to a lack of quorum. The meeting was postponed to a later date.
legislature 1999/2002
The next Council meeting, to deal with the second part of the previous agenda, was called to be held on Monday 12th April, 1999 at 7.00 p.m. Those present were Miss Filippa Attard, Mr. Francis Bezzina, Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar, and Architect Mr. Philip Mifsud. Councillors Mr. Paul Bonnici, Mr. Eric Cilia, Mr. Domnic Zammit and Miss Sandy Zammit, though present on the precincts of the building preferred to stay outside the building, rendering the meeting again out of order due to another lack of the required quorum. The meeting was again postponed to a later date.
On Saturday 24th April, 1999 another Council meeting, to attempt the Mayor’s election for the third time, was held at 9.15 p.m. Those present were Miss Filippa Attard, Mr. Francis Bezzina, Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar and Mr. Philip Mifsud. Councillors Mr. Paul Bonnici, Mr. Eric Cilia, Mr. Domnic Zammit and Miss Sandy Zammit again remained outside the Council building. Due to the Council not having a quorum the meeting was adjourned for the umpteenth time and postponed for a later date.
legislature 1999/2002
On Tuesday 4th May 1999 yet another Council meeting was held at 7.15 p.m. for the same purpose – that of electing a Mayor. This being the fourth attempt. Those present were Miss Filippa Attard, Mr. Francis Bezzina, Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar and Mr. Philip Mifsud. Councillors Mr. Paul Bonnici, Mr. Eric Cilia, Mr. Domnic Zammit and Miss Sandy Zammit again preferred to stay outside the Council building. The Councillors verbally informed the Executive Secretary that they were not joining the meeting because they were still waiting for decisions to be taken by the two major political parties, in connection with the election for the post of Mayor. Due to the Council ending up without a quorum again the meeting was again adjourned to a later date.
On the 20th May, 1999 another Council meeting was called to be held at 7.15 p.m. this being the fifth with the same agenda, that of electing a Mayor. Those present were Miss Filippa Attard, Mr. Francis Bezzina, Mr. Paul Bonnici, Mr. Eric Cilia, Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar, Mr. Philip Mifsud, Mr. Domnic Zammit and Miss Sandy Zammit. The meeting was chaired by the most senior member Councillor, Miss Filippa Attard. Mr. Domnic Zammit tabled a motion so that the current Council meeting will be adjourned. All Councillors agreed. It was decided that the meeting will be postponed to Wednesday 2nd. June, 1999 at 7.15 p.m.
On the 2nd. June 1999 another Council meeting, the sixth with the same business of electing a Mayor, was held at 7.00 p.m. Miss Filippa Attard, the most senior member, again chaired the meeting. Those present were Miss Filippa Attard, Mr. Francis Bezzina, Mr. Paul Bonnici, Mr. Eric Cilia, Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar, Mr. Philip Mifsud, Mr. Domnic Zammit and Miss Sandy Zammit. The long awaited election for Mayor was taken in hand. On the first ballot Mr. Paul Bonnici and Mr. Domnic Zammit won 4 votes each. On the second ballot Miss Filippa Attard won one vote and Mr. Paul Bonnici received 7 votes. Mr. Paul Bonnici was at long last elected Mayor.
Mayor Ciantar visits Agira
The election for Vice-Mayor produced these results: on the first ballot Mr. Eric Cilia won two votes and Mr. Domnic Zammit received six votes. Mr. Domnic Zammit was therefore elected Vice-Mayor on the first vote.
The second business was to co-opt a new member to fill Mr Philip Schembri’s vacancy through his resignation. On the 2nd July, 1999 during the second Council meeting, part IV, the Mayor nominated Mrs. Catherine Sammut. The nomination was accepted but it was agreed that the election for the post would be postponed for the next meeting.
On the 13th July, 1999, during the second Council meeting, the Mayor, Mr. Paul Bonnici, nominated Mrs. Catherine Sammut for Councillor to fill Mr. Philip Schembri's vacancy. The Vice-Mayor, Mr. Domnic Zammit, seconded the proposal. The nomination was unanimously accepted.
To make the ongoings of this legislature more colourful, the Mayor resigned after a short period in office, that is on Thursday 22nd. June, 2000. Mr. Paul Bonnici resigned only his mayorship. He declared that he would retain his seat as Councillor.
The election for Mayor, was held during the meeting on Saturday, 24th June, 2000 at 1300 hours. The meeting was chaired by the Vice-Mayor Mr. Domnic Zammit. The Executive Secretary was Francesca Pace Gambin. Those present were Mr. Domnic Zammit, Mr. Paul Bonnici, Miss Filippa Attard, Mr. Francis Bezzina, Mr. Eric Cilia, Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar, Architech Mr. Philip Mifsud and Miss Sandy Zammit. There were the following nominations: Mr. Paul Bonnici nominated Mr. Domnic Zammit. Miss Filippa Attard nominated Mr. Philip Mifsud. Mr. Francis Bezzina nominated Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar. The first ballot awarded Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar 4 votes, namely those cast by Miss Filippa Attard, Mr. Frans Bezzina, Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar, Mr. Philip Mifsud. There were no votes against, but there were five abstentions, namely those of Mr. Paul Bonnici, Mr. Eric Cilia, Mrs. Catherine Sammut, Mr. Domnic Zammit and Miss Sandy Zammit.
On the first ballot Architect Mr. Philip Mifsud won 4 votes, namely the yes votes of Miss Filippa Attard, Mr. Frans Bezzina, Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar and Architect Mr. Philip Mifsud. There were no votes against but there were five abstentions, namely those of Mr. Paul Bonnici, Mr. Eric Cilia, Mrs. Catherine Sammut, Mr. Domnic Zammit and Miss Sandy Zammit.
On the first ballot Mr. Domnic Zammit received 5 votes, those cast by Mr. Paul Bonnici Mr. Eric Cilia, Mrs. Catherine Sammut, Mr. Domnic Zammit and Miss Sandy Zammit. There were no votes against, but there were four abstentions, those of Miss Filippa Attard, Mr. Francis Bezzina, Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar and Mr. Philip Mifsud.
Mr. Domnic Zammit was therefore voted in for Mayor. He consequently resigned the post of Vice-Mayor. He proposed the election of Vice-Mayor. He was seconded by Architect Mr. Philip Mifsud.
For the election of Vice-Mayor there were the following nominations: Mrs. Catherine Sammut nominated Mr. Eric Cilia; Mr. Francis Bezzina nominated Mr. Philip Mifsud, and Miss Filippa Attard nominated Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar. Mr Eric Cillia polled five votes, those by Mr. Paul Bonnici, Mr. Eric Cilia, Mrs. Catherine Sammut, Mr. Domnic Zammit u Miss Sandy Zammit. No votes wre against, but there were four abstensions, namely: Miss Filippa Attard, Mr. Francis Bezzina, Mr. Emmanuel Cutajar, Mr. Philip Mifsud. Therefore, Mr. Eric Cilia was elected Vice-Mayor by a majority of votes.
Subsequently Councillor Paul Bonnici resigned. The vacancy was filled by the co-option of Mr Joseph Ciantar.
Jum Haz-Zebbug 2002

THE FOURTH LOCAL COUNCIL LEGISLATURE - 2002/2005.

The election for the fourth Council was held on the 9th March, 2002 at Zebbug. The premises used were, as on previous occasions, the government primary schools in Bishop Caruana Street. The elected Councillors were Miss Paula Marie Buhagair, Mr. Joseph Ciantar, Mr. George Cortis, Mr. Emmanuel Farrugia, Architect Mr. Philip Mifsud, Mr. Philip E. Said, Mr. Piju Saliba, Mr. Joseph Vella and Mr. Domnic Zammit.
Fourth Legislature: 2002-2005.
The legislature 2002-2005, was the only one to date, that is, since Local Councils, as we know them to-day, were istitutionalized
in 1993, during which there were no resignation casualties during the three years' term. The same team that was elected in 2002 finished successfully the term in 2005.
The images of the Councillors in the picture, are:
Left to right
Pio Saliba
Philip Said
Philip Mifsud
Joseph Vella
Domnic Zammit
Joseph Ciantar
Paola Marie Buhagiar
George Cortis
Noel Farrugia
and the Executive Secretary of the council
Rena Pace Gambin.

The first meeting of the new Council was held on the 2nd April, 2002 at 6.00 p.m. The main business was to elect a Mayor and Vice-Mayor. Those present were Miss. Paula Marie Buhagair, Mr. Joe Ciantar, Mr. George Cortis, Mr. Emmanuel Farrugia, Mr. Philip Mifsud, Mr. Philip E. Said, Mr. Piju Saliba, Mr. Joseph Vella and Mr. Domnic Zammit. The most senior member, Mr. Joseph Ciantar, chaired the meeting. During the meeting Francesca Pace Gambin was the Executive Secretary.
After the listing of all nominations, the election for the nominated candidates took place in alphabetical order according to law. Mr. Domnic Zammit nominated Mr. Joseph Ciantar. He was seconded by Mr. Emmanuel Farrugia. Mr. Philip Said nominated Architect Mr. Philip Mifsud. He was seconded by Mr. Piju Saliba. Mr Joseph Ciantar polled five votes, namely those of Miss Paola Marie Buhagair, Mr. Joseph Ciantar, Mr. Emmanuel Farrugia, Mr. Joseph Vella and Mr. Domnic Zammit. Mr. George Cortis, Mr. Philip Mifsud, Mr. Philip Said and Mr. Pio Saliba abstained. There were no votes against. Mr. Joseph Ciantar was therefore elected Mayor because he was awarded the majority of votes.
legislature 2002/2005
The election for Vice-Mayor was also conducted in alphabetical order according to law. Mr. Domnic Zammit nominated Miss Paola Marie Buhagiar. He was seconded by Mr. Joe Vella. Mr. Philip Mifsud nominated Mr. George Cortis. He was seconded by Mr. Philip Said. Those who voted for Miss Paola Marie Buhagair, five votes altogether, were : Miss Paola Marie Buhagair, Mr. Joseph Ciantar, Mr. Emmanuel Vella, Mr. Joseph Vella and Mr. Domnic Zammit. Mr. George Cortis, Mr. Philip Mifsud, Mr. Philip Said and Mr. Joseph Saliba abstained. There were no votes against. Miss Paola Marie Buhagair was therefore elected Vice Mayor.
Dr. John Laferla who at the time was Commissioner of Oaths gave the oath of office to the newly elected Mayor and Vice-Mayor.

For further research on the above the reader is advised to consult the Local Council Minutes, and in particular those of the 3rd December 1993, 16th September 1995, 23rd September 1995, 1st April 1996, 10th April 1996, 18th April 1996, 2nd October 1997, 17th October 1997, 2nd April 1999, 5th April 1999, 12th April 1999, 24th April 1999, 4th May 1999, 20th May, 1999, 2nd June 1999, 24th June 2000.

THE FIFTH LOCAL COUNCIL LEGISLATURE - 2005-2008.

The Local Council election for the fifth legislature for this locality and others was held on the 12th of March, 2005. The usual premises were used to organise the polling booths as directed by the Electoral Commission, Malta. The elections were carried out smoothly without any incidents.

Legislature 2005 - 2008.
Left to right:
Philip Said
George Cortis
Dominic Cutajar
Paola Marie Buhagiar
Joseph Ciantar
Brian Bonnici
Peter Micallef
Paola Vella Xriha
Philip Mifsud
and Council Executive Secretary
Rena Pace Gambin.

The following five candidates were elected for the Malta Labour Party: Dr Vella Schiriha Paula, Mr Bonnici Brian, Mr Ciantar Joseph, Miss Buhagiar Paula Marie and Mr Cutajar Dominic.
For the Nationalish party the following candidates were elected: Mr Architect and Civil Engineer Mifsud Philip, Dr Micallef Peter, M.D., and Messrs Cortis George and Said Philip.
The Labour councillors were in a majority, therefore they were entrusted with the running of the fifth legislature. There was no further need for the elected Councillors to choose the Mayor and Vice-Mayor, because on the strength of the law as amended recently, Dr Paola Vella Sciriha was elected Mayor having polled the best result, and runner-up Mr Bonnici Brian was elected Vice-Mayor. Because of strained relations with the rest of the group, the Mayor resigned her post after six months. Her post was taken by the Vice-Mayor, and the Vice-Mayorship was therefore due to the next in line, namely Mr Ciantar Joseph, who in turn preferred to cede the post in favour of Miss Buhagiar Paula Marie.
An independent candidate, Mr Domnic Zammit, was not elected. The contract of the Council secretary, Ms Francesca Pace Gambin, was terminated during this legislature. She was replaced by Mr Formosa Christopher, a newcomer to the setup of Councils

The other official photo, traditionally taken on the Council's very modest premises, of the incoming council was never taken. The following are the individual inset pictures of the group. After the resignation of Dr Paola Vella Schriha, Mary Vassallo La Rosa was elected to fill the vacancy.

JOSEPH CIANTAR PAOLA VELLA SCHRIHA DOMINIC CUTAJAR PAOLA MARIE BUHAGIAR MARY VASSALLO LA ROSA BRIAN BONNICI
PHILIP SAID PETER MICALLEF GEORGE CORTIS PHILIP MIFSUD

THE SIXTH LOCAL COUNCIL LEGISLATURE - 2008-2012.

The election for the sixth legislature
followed the routine procedures both on a local level as well as
on the level of the Electoral Commission.
There were another twenty-three localities contesting elections.

The official photo taken after
the investiture at the Prime Minister's Office, Castille,
on the 8th March, 2008.
This was the sixth legislature.
The group photo shows the images of all the elected councillors, prior to changes.

Left to right:

Brian Bonnici,
Peter Micallef,
Alfred Grixti,
Dominic Cutajar,
Duncan Bartolo,
Mario Borg,
Emanuel Agius,
Joseph Ciantar,
and the Council's Executive Secretary,
Christopher Formosa.

The image of George Cortis is not in the picture. He was away at the time the picture was taken.

legislature 2008/2012
new group2008/2005 This photo shows the images of the Councillors in the new Council formation,
after the resignation of the Mayor
They are from left to right:-

Mr Duncan Bartolo,
Mr Joseph Ciantar,
Mr Emanoel Agius,
Mr Mario Borg,
Mr Alfred Grixti,
Mr Dominic Cutajar,
Mr Rosario Cortis,
Mr George Cortis,
Dr Peter Micallef,

and the Executive Secretary of the Council,
Mr Christopher Formosa.

Once again, the Malta Labour Party won the majority of number one votes and consquently also the majority of the number of seats. The Labour candidates elected were: Messrs Bartolo Duncan, Bonnici Brian, Ciantar Joseph, Cutajar Domenico and Griscti Alfred. For the Nationalist Party candidated elected were: Messrs Agius Emanuel, Borg Mario, Cortis George and Dr Micallef Peter, MD. Following the procedure as established by the recently amended Local Councils Act, Mr Bonnici Brian and Mr Grixti Alfred were elected Mayor and Vice-Mayor respectively. The Mayor, Mr Brian Bonnici, resigned his post of Mayor and resigned also his post as Councillor on the 9th of November 2009. Mr Alfred Gixti and Mr Dominic Cutajar were upgraded to Mayor and Vice-Mayor respectiely. Mr Rosario Cortis was elected in a by-election to fill the vacancy created after Mr Brian Bonnici's resignation.
Further changes were required to make this legislature a colourful one. Councillor, Dr Peter Micallef won the by election to fill the vacancy that was created by Parliamentarian Mr John Dalli, who was elected to form part of the European Union's college of Commissioners. This change imposed other alterations in the set-up of the Council. Dr Micallef's vacancy was filled by Mr Philip Said, a former Councillor.
This legislature has, therefore, undergone to date, six changes since its original set-up in 2008.
And these changes were not the end of the story. In October 2010, Vice-Mayor Dominic Cutajar resinged his mayorship and declared himself as an independent Councillor, having resigned his membership from the Labour Party, but retained his seat on the Council as an independent Councillor. At about this same time Councillor Rosario Cortis, who was elected to the Council in a by-election a few months earlier, resigned from the Council for personal reasons.
These events led to further changes, namely, electing a new Vice-Mayor and a new councillor. Duncan Bartolo and Ms M Vassallo la Rosa, were elected as Vice-Mayor and member respectively. It is not known whether a picture of the new set-up council formation will be taken in the future. It will be included here for the sake of completeness as far as the turbulent history of the sixth legislature, 2008 - 2012, is concerned.

For detailed results of all local elections, CLICK HERE.

To be continued......
Last updated: 8th November,2010.

A measure of local government from 1773 to 1993.

1 - During the last years of the reign of the Knights – 1773/1798:

  1. There were three municipal authorities with members nominated directly by the Grand Master: Universita of Citta’ Notabile, Universita of Valletta and the Three Cities and the Universita of Gozo;
  2. the Municipality of Notabile had four officers (Giurati) and several members and was responsible for items of national importance;
  3. Municapality of Valletta had the same constitution as above but was also responsible for the provision of grain – ‘Massa Frumentaria;’
  4. the Municaplity of Gozo performed the same duties as its counterparts;
  5. but these covered only a section of the Islands;
  6. Grand Master Ximenes reformed local authorities in the rest of the towns and villages;
  7. the rest of the country was divided into nine districts with three officials in each;
  8. the Mayor in each district was also a judge in emergencies;

2 - During the French occupation:

  1. Napoleon divided the country into eleven ‘cantons;’
  2. 48 officers, including some Mayors, were nominated to sit on authorities;
  3. with the protests against the French the local authorities in the country were dissolved but those in Valletta where the French were blockaded remained;

3 - During the blockade of the French:

  1. the country divided into two blocks: the countryside in the hands of the citizenry and Valletta and the harbour area in the hands of the French;
  2. provisional local authorities formed to mainly provide food for the population;
  3. properties were pledged to obtain grain from Sicily;
  4. Captain Ball reconstituted the ‘Universita’ at Citta’ Notabile;
  5. funds were used to improve the infrastructure in Mdina and Rabat, run hospital at Dominicans in Rabat, transport of food to St Paul’s Bay and Corradino where Maltese garrisons were stationed;
  6. in Gozo Universita re-established and carried out same duties as counterparts in Malta.

4 - During first years of British rule:

  1. most of Univerista committees were re-established and a lieutenant added to all towns and villages all over the Islands;
  2. a ‘captain’ headed local authority in Gozo but later Ball appointed a mayor in the main six villages of Gozo;
  3. a proclamation (14th December 1801) clarified duties of lieutenants which were extensively increased through
    other official documents.

5 - Maitland’s reforms:

  1. the posts of Gozo’s governor and mayor and all lieutenants were abolished;
  2. members of the local nobility filled the posts thus vacated;
  3. the islands were divided into six districts;
  4. Maitland abolished most local authorities and started a policy of strict centralization;

6 - The reofrms of 1839 and the appointment of mayors:

  1. the post of mayor in localities followed the recommendations of the British government commission of 1836;
  2. this type of local government remained in force up to 1896 albeit some changes;
  3. lawyers were the only candidates eligible to be appointed mayors;
  4. mayors were vested with civil magisterial powers, were empowered with executive police powers and appointed heads of the seven newly created districts;

7 - The reform of 1880:

  1. more reforms followed the Sir Penrose Julyan report;
  2. the number of districts was reduced from seven to four;
  3. Ordinance number III of 1896 abolished the post od mayor;
  4. all structures supporting a measure of local authority were thus abolished.

8 - Two attempts at decentralization: 1867 and 1882.

  1. some district committees were established with only consulatative powers;
  2. first municipal elections held in 1867 with little public participation;
  3. on 2394 electors in Malta and Gozo only 482 cared to vote;
  4. other districts had also very low voting participation;
  5. only nominated citizens were entitled to vote;
  6. further elections that followed were just as unsuccessful;
  7. again in 1882 thirteen distric committees were formed;
  8. again voters turn out was poor – for the Zebbug and Siggiewi committee nobody voted;
  9. the district councils were again unsuccessful and therefore ineffective.

9 - The second world war (1940-1945) years:

  1. The Protection Organisation was created: 1940-1945 which catered for the needs of the population – it was an official organisation;
  2. four regional Protection Officers were created including one for Gozo;
  3. other sub-divisions or districts were made with assisstant district commissioners in charge to better reach the population;
  4. they gave sterling service to the citizens hard hit during the war;
  5. the Protection Organisation ended in June 1945;
  6. Governor Carter encouraged parish priests to form district committees;
  7. some were successful others, mainly the harbour area, were not;
  8. after January 1946 the district committees disappeared.

10 - Gozo Civic Council:

  1. the only local authority in existence after WW2 was that of Gozo;
  2. this was only a voluntary association;
  3. a little later the colonial administration recognised officially the Gozo Civic Council which was made responsible in an advisory capacity for roads, health, finance and generalities;
  4. in 1961 the council became the legal authority of Gozo elected by the voters;
  5. in 1973 the Gozo Civic Council was abolished by Parliament.

11 - Civic Councils:

  1. during the 60’s and 70’s there was a serious drive to organise Civic Councils in many towns and villages;
  2. they were not institutionalised and were not in most cases elected through any kind of suffrage. Constituted voluntary bodies sent representatives;
  3. they were NGO’s that worked towards the ameliorament of their localities;
  4. they can be considered as the forerunners of to-day’s local councils.
Note: For further details on most of the above refer to the article “Forms of Local Governmnet in the Maltese Islands,” by Winston L. Zammit, B.A.(Hons), M.A., published in the Sliema Local Council Magazine, issue April-June 2004, pp. 28-33.

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To be continued.............