VOTERS across Gibraltar have headed to their nearest polling stations Thursday to elect a government that will be lead the British overseas territory for the next four years.
The Gibraltar Parliament reported in their new live site that by 6pm on October 12, over 14,000 people had voted – 56% of the eligible electorate – had cast their vote.
Caretaker Chief Minister Fabian Picardo of the GSLP and Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia of the Liberals both cast their votes at 10am and 9am respectively.
Keith Azopardi, GSD leader voted around midday saying his party had made ‘a strong campaign with tough issues’.
Picardo said that these elections were ‘a verdict of our government for the previous four years but also of the last 12 years, of who we are and what we represent in Gibraltar politics’.
But he said he would respect ‘the verdict of the people who have the right to kick me out or support me’.
Garcia said that “candidates have given all their time, energy and enthusiasm to explain their proposals to the electorate”.
On the EU treaty talks, the Liberal leader said: “Our position is that we have started this process and we have to be the ones to finish it.
“But it is in the hands of the people of Gibraltar who have to make a decision.”
But Azopardi, on the background of his position on the matter, said “that there be no concessions in sovereignty, jurisdiction and control.”
Independent candidate Robert Vasquez, voted soon after Picardo and asked the public to vote ‘for a person and not a party’. He said he was the only one to carry that burden.
It followed a fiery head-to-head live debate between Picardo and Azopardi on national TV the night before.
Both leaders appeared nervous and tired in the debate, with the GSD leader fretting over the EU treaty and his GSLP rival most on the defensive over government-owned companies.
They also raised the issues of the McGrail Inquiry, enlarging the parliament and the economy.
And with different polls putting both rivals with the possibility of winning but by very small margins, people are holding their breaths to see what will happen next.
STAY TUNED for regular updates as they come in, right here at The Olive Press.