Malta's Labour Party wins national election

VALLETTA Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:08am EDT

Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat (C) and his wife Michelle (2nd L) are greeted by supporters as they arrive to vote at a polling station in their hometown of Burmarrad, outside Valletta, March 9, 2013. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat (C) and his wife Michelle (2nd L) are greeted by supporters as they arrive to vote at a polling station in their hometown of Burmarrad, outside Valletta, March 9, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi

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VALLETTA (Reuters) - Malta's Labour Party won a national election, returning to power after 15 years in opposition.

Labor's triumph is a personal victory for Labour leader Joseph Muscat, 39, who became party leader five years ago and has modernized his party to appeal to more centrist voters.

Paul Borg Olivier, secretary of the ruling Nationalist party said that Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi had conceded defeat.

Muscat was a member of the European Parliament before taking over the party leadership in 2008.

Labor was last in government between 1996 and 1998.

(Reporting by Chris Scicluna; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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