Former MPs top campaign expenditure charts for unelected candidates

Jose’ Herrera spent at least twice as much as other former MPs


Former heritage minister Jose’ Herrera tops the list of campaign expenditure among unelected candidates, declaring he spent €18,822 for a five-week campaign.

While former MPs generally spent more than other candidates running for the first time, Herrera spent twice as much as the new candidates. Although, it was less than the extravagance of some former MPs who are now reappointed ministers.

Based on a sample of 15 individual candidates from across four political parties and one independent candidate, The Shift’s analysis revealed that the second-biggest spender among unelected candidates was former transport minister Joe Mizzi, spending €9,290.

The sample included all candidates who previously held seats in parliament but failed to get elected this time around, as well as candidates from smaller parties like ADPD and Volt.

Out of those 15 individuals, six did not submit any kind of receipts which could be used to verify their expenditure, confirming a trend that was also present among both PL’s and PN’s elected MPs.

Former PN MPs Edwin Vassallo, Joe Ellis and Jason Azzopardi did not submit receipts with their report, with Azzopardi stating that the declared €3,000 in expenditure came out of his own pocket. Herrera also failed to file receipts with his report.

According to electoral laws, candidates should submit a fiscal paper trail which accounts for both any income generated via fundraising or donations in kind as well as expenditure on campaign material.

Besides Herrera and Mizzi, both of whom served as MPs for the Labour Party for multiple legislatures, former PL MPs Tony Agius Decelis and Oliver Scicluna spent €7,141 and €4,051, respectively.

While former MPs were more reliant on printing and advertising for their campaign, other candidates spent far less and relied more on grassroots campaigning, with firebrand local councillors John Baptist Camilleri and Albert Buttigieg serving as an example.

While Buttigieg spent €924, Camilleri spent even less, with the total cost of his campaign amounting to €560. The bulk of Buttigieg’s campaigning occurred in the town in which he serves as mayor, St Julian’s, while Camilleri played an important role in the campaign against a yacht marina in Marsascala. Both Buttigieg and Camilleri failed to file receipts with their reports.

One of the biggest spenders among the grassroots campaigners was independent candidate Arnold Cassola. He had uploaded a summary of his spending along with receipts a few days after the elections, declaring he spent around €3,283 on his campaign.

The two main alternative parties during these general elections, ADPD and Volt, also ran their campaigns on a shoestring. Ralph Cassar and Sandra Gauci from ADPD, for example, spent €860 and €115, respectively. Volt candidate Thomas Mallia spent €347, expenses which had also been previously declared right after the elections.

According to the electoral law, political candidates could spend up to €20,000 per electoral district contested.

You can read further analysis on PL candidates’ expenditure here and PN candidates here.

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23 days ago

Correct me if I’m wrong, this is an enormous waste of public money especially when less than half of of the voting public voted for these Bogans. It’s time the rules were changed and the candidates fund their own campaigns, the amount of spoken and written shit would diminish considerably as would the the amount of Bogan dreamers looking for a fully funded job for life
Bring it on lets have the changes put through parliament ASAP any takers?
I forgot this is Mafialand!

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