President of Malta

The President of Malta (Maltese: President ta' Malta) is the constitutional head of state of Malta. The President is appointed by a resolution of the House of Representatives of Malta for a five-year term, taking an oath to "preserve, protect and defend" the Constitution.[2] The President of Malta also resides directly or indirectly in all three branches of the state. They are part of Parliament and responsible for the appointment of the judiciary. Executive authority is nominally vested in the President, but is in practice exercised by the Prime Minister.[3]

President of Malta
President ta' Malta
Flag of the President of Malta
Presidential Standard
George William Vella
George Vella

since 4 April 2019
StyleHis/Her Excellency
ResidenceSan Anton Palace
AppointerHouse of Representatives
Term length5 years
Inaugural holderAnthony Mamo
Formation13 December 1974
Salary61,700 / annually[1]
Malta - Attard - San Anton Gardens - Palace 19 ies
List of Presidents of Malta at San Anton Palace seen in 2014

Establishment of office

The office of the President of Malta (Maltese: President ta' Malta), came into being on 13 December 1974, when Malta became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations. Queen Elizabeth II ceased to be head of state and Queen of Malta (Maltese: Reġina ta' Malta), and the last Governor-General, Sir Anthony Mamo, became the first President of Malta.


A person shall not be qualified to be appointed President if:

  • They are not a citizen of Malta;
  • They hold or have held the office of Chief Justice or other Judge of the Superior Courts;
  • They are not eligible for appointment to or to act in any public office in accordance with articles 109, 118 and 120 of the Constitution.

Assumption of office

Before assuming office the nominee must take the oath of office before the House of Representatives of Malta.

The oath reads: I, (name of nominee), solemnly swear/affirm that I will faithfully execute the office of President (perform the functions of the President) of Malta, and will, to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of Malta. (So help me God).

Temporary vacancy

Whenever the office of President is temporarily vacant; until a new President is appointed; and whenever the holder of the office is absent from Malta, on vacation, or is for any reason unable to perform the functions conferred upon them by the Constitution, those functions are performed by an individual appointed by the Prime Minister, after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition, or by the Chief Justice.

Role of the President

Among the powers of the President:

  • The President promulgates laws.
  • The President may dissolve the House of Representatives of Malta acting on the request of the Prime Minister of Malta or following the passage of a no confidence motion in the Government.
  • The President names the Prime Minister with the President making his or her decision based on the situation within the Maltese parliament.
  • The President names most members of constitutional bodies (with the assent of the Prime Minister).
  • The President receives foreign ambassadors.
  • The President may grant a pardon (but not an amnesty) to convicted criminals; the president can also lessen or suppress criminal sentences, acting on the advice of Cabinet or the Minister delegated by Cabinet with such responsibility.
  • The President is ex officio Chairman of the Commission for the Administration of Justice of Malta.
  • The President is ex officio Head of the Maltese Honours.
  • The President is ex officio Chairman of the Malta Community Chest Fund, a charitable non-governmental institution aimed to help philanthropic institutions and individuals. The President’s spouse is the Deputy Chairperson.
  • The President authorises recognition in Malta of honours, awards and decorations. No title of nobility, honour, award, decoration, membership or office may be used in Malta unless it is authorised by the President. The names of those persons so authorized are published in the Government Gazette.

The role of the President is detailed in a publication (in Maltese) called Il-Manwal tal-President tar-Repubblika written by former President Ugo Mifsud Bonnici.[4]

Official residences

The official office of the president is the Grandmaster's Palace in Valletta. Other presidential residences include:

President's flag

The Presidents of Malta used the national flag as their presidential standard prior to 12 December 1998, when a proclamation established the Presidential Flag of Malta. The flag is flown on the President's official residences and offices and on all occasions at which they are present.[5]

Termination of appointment

The office of President shall become vacant:

  • If the President resigns his office;
  • On the expiration of five years from the date of the appointment to that office;
  • If the holder of the office is removed from office by Resolution of the House of Representatives of Malta on the ground of inability to perform the functions of their office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or any other cause) or misbehaviour.

See also


  2. ^ Article 50 and the Second Schedule of the Constitution of Malta
  3. ^ Articles 51, 96 and 78 of the Constitution of Malta
  4. ^ Il-Manwal tal-President tar-Repubblika
  5. ^ "Flags, Symbols, and their uses". About Malta. Government of Malta. Retrieved 10 April 2014.

External links

Agatha Barbara

Agatha Barbara, (11 March 1923 – 4 February 2002) was a Maltese politician, having served as a Labour Member of Parliament and Minister. She was the first woman to hold the office of President of Malta, and is the longest standing woman Member of Parliament in Maltese political history.

Anthony Mamo

Sir Anthony Joseph Mamo, (9 January 1909 – 1 May 2008) was the first President of Malta and previously served as the last Governor-General of the State of Malta before the country became a republic. He was also the first Maltese citizen to be appointed Governor-General, and before independence, briefly served as acting Governor.

Chief Justice of Malta

The Chief Justice of Malta is the primus inter pares of the judicial branch of Malta. The Chief Justice leads the business of the Superior Courts and is appointed by the President of Malta acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister of Malta after consulting with the Leader of Opposition.

The judicial appointments committee which is constituted according to the provisions of the Constitution and chaired by the Chief Justice, is not consulted on the appointment. This to ensure that the outgoing Chief Justice would not have a say on the choice of his/her successor.

Coat of arms of Malta

The coat of arms of Malta is the national coat of arms of the country of Malta.

The present coat of arms is described by the Emblem and Public Seal of Malta Act of 1988 as a shield showing an heraldic representation of the national flag of Malta; above the shield a mural crown in gold with a sally port and five turrets representing the fortifications of Malta and denoting a city-state; and around the shield a wreath of two branches: the dexter of olive, the sinister of palm, symbols of peace and traditionally associated with Malta, all in their proper colours, tied at base with a white ribbon, backed red and upon which are written the words Repubblika ta' Malta (“Republic of Malta” in Maltese) in capital letters in black.

The national coat of arms also appears on the flag of the President of Malta.

The various coats of arms appear on passports, excise stamps, official documents and various other uses. Many Maltese coins feature a coat of arms, most notably the second series of the Maltese lira, some Maltese euro coins, and many gold or silver commemorative coins (either denominated in the Maltese lira or in Euro). Coats of arms were featured various times on Maltese postage stamps as well.

Eddie Fenech Adami

Edoardo "Eddie" Fenech Adami, (born 7 February 1934) is a Maltese politician and Nationalist politician who served as Prime Minister of Malta from 1987 until 1996, and again from 1998 until 2004. Subsequently, he was the seventh President of Malta from 2004 to 2009. He led his party to win five general elections, in 1981, 1987, 1992, 1998 and 2003. Staunchly pro-European, Fenech Adami is the longest serving Maltese prime minister since Malta's independence, and was fundamental for Malta's accession to the European Union.Originally a lawyer, Fenech Adami was co-opted Member of Parliament (MP) in 1969. He served in a number of senior party positions, including president of the Administrative and General Councils, and was elected to succeed Dr Giorgio Borġ Olivier as party leader. From April 1977 onwards, Fenech Adami led the Nationalist opposition in a campaign of civil disobedience against the Mintoff and Mifsud Bonnici administrations of the late seventies and eighties, focusing on a message of respect for democratic principles and human rights.Upon moving into Auberge de Castille in 1987, Fenech Adami began a policy of national reconciliation, initiating a series of political and economic reforms intended to open up the economy, reverse high unemployment and the islands' problems following sixteen years of socialist policies. His political ideology and economic policies highlighted deregulation, more flexible labour markets, the overhaul of the country's physical infrastructure and the privatisation of state-owned companies. The legal and business structures were also overhauled and trade liberalised. The communications, financial services and banking sectors were deregulated or privatised. Malta also began a period of integration with the EU, formally applying for membership in 1990.Fenech Adami was re-elected with a modest majority in 1992; his popularity, however, wavered during his second term of office amid further economic reforms, particularly the introduction of VAT, and the re-branding of the main opposition party with a new and more dynamic leader, Alfred Sant. Losing power in 1996, Fenech Adami was returned as prime minister within twenty-two months, after the Labour government's decision to call a snap election backfired. Reversing the unpopular economic policies of the Labour Party, Fenech Adami reactivated Malta's EU membership application and initiated further economic reforms.He successfully led the pro-EU movement in the 2003 EU membership referendum campaign and won the successive election. He signed Malta's Accession Treaty with the European Union and represented Malta in various EU Summits and Commonwealth meetings. Fenech Adami resigned as Leader of the Nationalist Party in February 2004, resigning his premiership and giving up his parliamentary seat in March 2004. He became the seventh President of Malta in April 2004.

First Ladies and Gentlemen of Malta

The First Lady of Malta or First Gentleman of Malta is the title and position held by the spouse of the President of Malta, concurrent with the president's term in office. The current titleholder is First Lady Miriam Vella, who has held the position since April 2019.The President and their husbands or wives reside at the San Anton Palace.

George Abela

George Abela, (born 22 April 1948) is a Maltese politician who was President of Malta from April 2009 to April 2014.

George Vella

George William Vella, (born 24 April 1942) is a Maltese politician and the 10th and current President of Malta.. He was Malta's Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1996 to 1998, under Prime Minister Alfred Sant, and under Prime Minister Joseph Muscat from 2013 to 2017. He was elected as the sole nominee in the indirect 2019 Maltese presidential election and was sworn in as the 10th President of Malta on 4 April 2019.

Government of Malta

The Government of Malta (Maltese: Gvern ta' Malta) is the executive branch of Malta. It is made up of the Cabinet and the Parliamentary Secretaries. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of Malta, with the President making his or her decision based on the situation within the Maltese parliament. The Prime Minister is responsible for assigning departments of government to Permanent Secretaries. The President of Malta also appoints the rest of the cabinet with the assent of the Prime Minister of Malta.

Guido de Marco

Guido de Marco, (22 July 1931 – 12 August 2010) was a Maltese politician, who served as the sixth President of Malta from 1999 to 2004. A noted statesman and lawmaker, de Marco also served as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior, Justice, and Minister for Foreign Affairs.

He was elected President of the 45th session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1990, and Chairman of the Commonwealth Foundation in 2004. A renowned criminal lawyer, he defended some of the landmark cases in Malta during the 1980s. His sudden death in 2010 shocked the nation and prompted three days of national mourning and a state funeral.

Leader of the Opposition (Malta)

The Leader of the Opposition of Malta is by convention the leader of the most powerful party in the House of Representatives not in government. The Leader of the Opposition is appointed by the President of Malta, with the President making his or her decision based on the situation within the Maltese parliament.

The Office is constitutional in nature and the Leader of Opposition is normally viewed as an alternative Prime Minister, and must be a member of the House of Representatives of Malta. The post did not exist in the period between 1933 and 1947 or the period between 1958 and 1962.

List of Maltese people

This is a list of notable Maltese people including those not born in, or current residents of, Malta; they are Maltese nationals.

List of heads of state of Malta

This is a list of the heads of state of Malta, from independence as the State of Malta in 1964 to present. From 1964 to 1974, Malta was a Commonwealth realm and its head of state under the Constitution of Malta was the Queen of Malta, Elizabeth II – who was also simultaneously the Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. The Queen was represented in Malta by a Governor-General. Malta became a republic within the Commonwealth after constitutional amendments in 1974, and the position of Monarch and Governor-General were replaced by a President of Malta who is indirectly elected.

Parliament of Malta

The Parliament of Malta (Maltese: Parlament ta' Malta) is the constitutional legislative body in Malta, located in Valletta.

The parliament is unicameral, with a democratically elected House of Representatives and the President of Malta. By Constitutional law, all government ministers, including the Prime Minister, must be members of the House of Representatives.

Between 1921 and 1933 the Parliament was bicameral, consisting of a Senate as well as a Legislative Assembly.

Politics of Malta

The politics of Malta takes place within a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Malta is the constitutional head of state. Executive Authority is vested in the President of Malta with the general direction and control of the Government of Malta remaining with the Prime Minister of Malta who is the head of government and the cabinet. Legislative power is vested in the Parliament of Malta which consists of the President of Malta and the unicameral House of Representatives of Malta with the Speaker presiding officer of the legislative body. Judicial power remains with the Chief Justice and the Judiciary of Malta. Since Independence, the party electoral system has been dominated by the Christian democratic Nationalist Party (Partit Nazzjonalista) and the social democratic Labour Party (Partit Laburista).

The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated Malta as "full democracy" in 2016.

Prime Minister of Malta

The Prime Minister of Malta (Maltese: Prim Ministru ta' Malta) is the Head of Government, which is the highest official of Malta.

Queen of Malta

From 1964 to 1974, Elizabeth II was Queen of Malta (Maltese: Reġina ta' Malta). The State of Malta was an independent sovereign state and the Queen was also monarch of the other Commonwealth realms, including the United Kingdom. The Queen's constitutional roles in Malta were mostly delegated to a Governor-General.

Malta became a republic within the Commonwealth in 1974, and the Queen was replaced as head of state by the President of Malta.

Ugo Mifsud Bonnici

Ugo Mifsud Bonnici, (born 8 November 1932) is a Maltese politician and was the fifth President of Malta from 4 April 1994 until the same day in 1999.

Verdala Palace

Verdala Palace is a palace in the Buskett Gardens, limits of Siġġiewi, Malta. It was built in 1586 during the reign of Hugues Loubenx de Verdalle, and it now serves as the official summer residence of the President of Malta.

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