464 newly elected persons take their oath as councillors
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The 464 persons elected in last month’s local councils election across Gozo and Malta, 343 males and 121 women, took their oath as councillors on Tuesday.
Later on, the mayors and vice mayors will also take their oath so that on the 1st of July the new local councils will be officially established.
The Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government said in a statement that, the local councils, which were set up in June 1993, are an important institution in Public Administration since they strengthen local democracy.
Since the setting up of local councils 26 years ago, this was the first election which incorporated all local councils.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat opened the ceremony, addressing the elected councillors saying that he is certain that work in the respective councils has already started, as many were reconfirmed but even the newly elected have a strong desire to start serving their localities, but more importantly all are ready to be of service to all their respective communities.
He continued by saying that, “this day is however important because it is a reminder of the responsibility, that all of you were ready to take up, a reminder that you were all ready to take a step further and take this responsibility to be on the forefront in your respective communities. Being a mayor, deputy mayor, minority leader, councillor is a privilege given by the citizens to take care of the environment that they and their children live in.”
Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici said that “out of these 464 persons elected, a total of 191 of them were elected for the first time and 63 out of the 191 are women. This can be seen as leap forward, when one considers the fact that during the local elections from 2007 until 2009, only 31 females were elected the first-time round.”
Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Communities Silvio Parnis said this oath represents the responsibility that the new councillors will have in improving our localities and the quality of life of residents.
The Parliamentary Secretary said that the reform made by the central government in the local government sector can only come into fruition if all those elected give their full contribution for the good of the localities and residents.
He added that the central government will continue working closely with the local government and give the necessary support.
Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Parnis concluded by calling on all the new councillors “to work together as one team so that we will have localities of excellence.”
Photograph: DOI/Jason Borg