By KEVIN SCHEMBRI ORLAND
VALLETTA, Malta (AP) — Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela is claiming victory in his nation’s election for Parliament as the vote count continued on Sunday. The win if officially confirmed would mean the Labour Party will start its third consecutive term in office. The election was held Saturday on the Mediterranean island nation which is a member of the European Union. About 85% of eligible voters cast ballots. Abela became prime minister in January 2020 to replace Joseph Muscat who had to quit after protests linked to the 2017 slaying of an investigative journalist. The sale of Maltese citizenship to the wealthy came under fire in the campaign amid EU sanctions against Russian oligarchs.