Malta Government - 2021


SOURCE: 2021 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Malta

conventional short form: Malta

local long form: Repubblika ta' Malta

local short form: Malta

etymology: the ancient Greeks called the island "Melite" meaning "honey-sweet" from the Greek word "meli" meaning "honey" and referring to the island's honey production

Government type

parliamentary 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

etymology: named in honor of Jean de Valette, the Grand Master of the Order of Saint John (crusader knights), who successfully led a defense of the island from an Ottoman invasion in 1565

Administrative divisions

68 localities (Il-lokalita); Attard, Balzan, Birgu, Birkirkara, Birzebbuga, Bormla, Dingli, Fgura, Floriana, Fontana, Ghajnsielem, Gharb, Gharghur, Ghasri, Ghaxaq, Gudja, Gzira, Hamrun, Iklin, Imdina, Imgarr, Imqabba, Imsida, Imtarfa, Isla, Kalkara, Kercem, Kirkop, Lija, Luqa, Marsa, Marsaskala, Marsaxlokk, Mellieha, Mosta, Munxar, Nadur, Naxxar, Paola, Pembroke, Pieta, Qala, Qormi, Qrendi, Rabat, Rabat (Ghawdex), Safi, San Giljan/Saint Julian, San Gwann/Saint John, San Lawrenz/Saint Lawrence, Sannat, San Pawl il-Bahar/Saint Paul's Bay, Santa Lucija/Saint Lucia, Santa Venera/Saint Venera, Siggiewi, Sliema, Swieqi, Tarxien, Ta' Xbiex, Valletta, Xaghra, Xewkija, Xghajra, Zabbar, Zebbug, Zebbug (Ghawdex), Zejtun, Zurrieq

Independence

21 September 1964 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 21 September (1964); Republic Day, 13 December (1974)

Constitution

history: many previous; latest adopted 21 September 1964

amendments: proposals (Acts of Parliament) require at least two-thirds majority vote by the House of Representatives; passage of Acts requires majority vote by referendum, followed by final majority vote by the House and assent of the president of the republic; amended many times, last in 2020

Legal system

mixed legal system of English common law and civil law based on the Roman and Napoleonic civil codes; subject to European Union law

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Malta

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age (16 in local council elections); universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President George VELLA (since 4 April 2019) 

head of government:  Prime Minister Robert ABELA (13 January 2020) 

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the House of Representatives for a single 5-year term; election last held on 2 April 2019 (next to be held by April 2024); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the president for a 5-year term; deputy prime minister appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister

election results: George VELLA (PL) elected president; House of Representatives vote - unanimous; Joseph MUSCAT (PL) reappointed prime minister

Legislative branch

description: unicameral House of Representatives or Il-Kamra Tad-Deputati, a component of the Parliament of Malta (normally 65 seats but can include at-large members; members directly elected in 5 multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms); note - the parliament elected in 2013 had 69 seats; an additional two seats were added in 2016 by the Constitutional Court to correct for mistakes made in the 2013 vote-counting process

elections: last held on 3 June 2017 (next to be held in 2022); note - Prime Minister MUSCAT called for early elections amid corruption allegations

election results: percent of vote by party - PL 55%, PN 43.7%, other 1.3%; seats by party - PL 37 PN 30; note - PN was awarded two additional seats for a total of 30 in accordance with the proportionality provisions specified in the constitution; PD candidates ran under the PN list; composition - men 57, women 10, percent of women 14.9%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Court of Appeal (consists of either 1 or 3 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 3 judges); Court of Criminal Appeal (consists of either 1 or 3 judges)

judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court judges appointed by the president, usually upon the advice of the prime minister; judges of both courts serve until age 65

subordinate courts: Civil Court (divided into the General Jurisdiction Section, Family Section, and Voluntary Section); Criminal Court; Court of Magistrates; Gozo Courts (for the islands of Gozo and Comino)

Political parties and leaders

Democratic Party (Partit Demokratiku) or PD [Godfrey FARRUGIA]
Labor Party (Partit Laburista) or PL [Joseph MUSCAT]
Nationalist Party (Partit Nazzjonalista) or PN [Adrian DELIA]

International organization participation

Australia Group, C, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina (observer), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Keith AZZOPARDI (since 17 September 2018)

chancery: 2017 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 462-3611 through 3612

FAX: [1] (202) 387-5470

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Gwendolyn "Wendy" GREEN (since August 2020)

telephone: [356] 2561-4000

embassy: Ta' Qali National Park, Attard, ATD 4000

mailing address: 5800 Valletta Place, Dulles, VA 20189

FAX: [356] 2561-4183

Flag description

two equal vertical bands of white (hoist side) and red; in the upper hoist-side corner is a representation of the George Cross, edged in red; according to legend, the colors are taken from the red and white checkered banner of Count Roger of Sicily who removed a bi-colored corner and granted it to Malta in 1091; an uncontested explanation is that the colors are those of the Knights of Saint John who ruled Malta from 1530 to 1798; in 1942, King George VI of the UK awarded the George Cross to the islanders for their exceptional bravery and gallantry in World War II; since independence in 1964, the George Cross bordered in red has appeared directly on the white field

National symbol(s)

Maltese eight-pointed cross; national colors: red, white

National anthem

name: "L-Innu Malti" (The Maltese Anthem)

lyrics/music: Dun Karm PSAILA/Robert SAMMUT

note: adopted 1945; written in the form of a prayer



NOTE: The information regarding Malta on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Malta 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Malta 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.