Government survives confidence vote
The Nationalist Party government led by Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi has survived a confidence vote but only with the support of the Speaker.
The Nationalist Party, which won 35 of the 69 seats in the 2008 general election has faced two confidence votes in recent months. This time one of their rebel MPs, Franco Debono, abstained making the vote a dead tie with the government on 34 votes and the Malta Labour Party on 34 votes.
The casting vote was taken by the Speaker who voted in favour of the government.
Although the government has survived this vote, the volatile Debono may cause further problems for the prime minister in the weeks ahead. The opposition leader, Joseph Muscat has called for a general election and has suggested that it could be linked to local elections, the writ for which will be moved next Tuesday.