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Malta Government
 
 
 

General

Malta is a republic, whose parliamentary system and public administration is closely modelled on the Westminster system. The unicameral House of Representatives (Il-Kamra tar-Rappre?entanti), is elected by direct universal suffrage through single transferable vote every five years, unless the House is dissolved earlier by the President on advice of the Prime Minister. The House of Representatives is made up of sixty-five Members of Parliament. However, where a party wins an absolute majority of votes, but does not have a majority of seats, that party is given additional seats to ensure a parliamentary majority. The Constitution of Malta provides that the President appoint as Prime Minister the member of the House who is best able to command a (governing) majority in the House.

The President of the Republic is elected every five years by the House of Representatives. The role of the president as head of state is largely ceremonial.

The main political parties are the Nationalist Party, which is a Christian democratic party, and the Malta Labour Party, which is a social democratic party.

The Nationalist Party is currently at the helm of the government, the Prime Minister being Dr. Lawrence Gonzi. The Malta Labour Party, led by Dr. Alfred Sant, is in the opposition.

There are a number of smaller political parties in Malta that presently have no parliamentary representation.

Overview

Country name
conventional long form: Republic of Malta
conventional short form: Malta
local long form: Repubblika ta' Malta
local short form: Malta

Government type
republic

Capital
name: Valletta
geographic coordinates: 35 53 N, 14 30 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions
none (administered directly from Valletta); note - local councils carry out administrative orders

Independence
21 September 1964 (from UK)

National holiday
Independence Day, 21 September (1964)

Constitution
1964 constitution; amended many times

Legal system
based on English common law and Roman civil law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations


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