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.

Prime Minister of Malta
Prim Ministru ta' Malta
Coat of arms of Malta
Coat of Arms of the Republic of Malta
Joseph Muscat, Leader, Partit Laburista, Malta
Joseph Muscat

since 11 March 2013
StyleThe Honourable
Member ofCabinet of Malta
European Council
ResidenceVilla Francia
AppointerPresident of Malta
Inaugural holderJoseph Howard

Establishment of the office and developments

The office of "Head of Ministry" was created as soon as Malta was granted autonomous government in 1921.[1] The 1921 constitution was suspended twice before being revoked. On the first occasion (1930–33) the Head of Ministry (at the time Gerald Strickland) and his cabinet were retained. Following the second suspension in 1934 the cabinet was dismissed.

The constitution was revoked in 1936 and the post did not exist for as long as Malta was under direct colonial administration. The office was re-established with the grant of self-government in 1947 with the post being renamed as "Prime Minister of Malta". The post was again suppressed when the 1947 constitution was again suspended between 1958 and 1962 but was retained largely unchanged in the 1964 Independence constitution and the subsequent amendments of 1974 which transformed the form of government into a republic.

Constitutional functions

The President of Malta, who nominally heads the Executive branch, appoints as Prime Minister the member of parliament who, in the opinion of the President, is best able to command a majority of the members of the House of Representatives. The Prime Minister advises the President on the appointment of the other Ministers.

The Prime Minister is constitutionally obliged to keep the President fully informed on the general conduct of the government. Whenever the prime minister is away from Malta, the President may authorise any other member of the Cabinet to perform those functions and that member may perform those functions temporarily. It is usually the Deputy Prime Minister who fills in this role as Acting Prime Minister.

Constitutionally, the Prime Minister is also responsible for appointing Permanent Secretaries as well as tender advice to the President on the appointment of members to the Judiciary and constitutional bodies.

Office of the Prime Minister of Malta (OPM)

Castille Palace 01
Auberge de Castille, the Office of the Prime Minister

As minister in his own right[2] the Prime Minister is responsible for a number of departments of government. The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has been based at the Auberge de Castille in Valletta since 1972, playing a central role in decision-making apart from being the administrative headquarters of the Government.

The OPM's mission is to support the Prime Minister in providing leadership and direction for a stable and effective government. The core departments of OPM include the Cabinet Secretariat, the Management and Personnel Office and the Department of Information.

Official residences

Villa Francia is the official residence of the Prime Minister, while the Girgenti Palace is the summer residence. However they are not widely used with the exception of public ceremonies, receiving notable people and being symbolic buildings.[3]

Living former prime ministers

Name Term Date of birth
Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici 1984–1987 July 17, 1933 (age 85)
Eddie Fenech Adami 1987–1996
February 7, 1934 (age 85)
Alfred Sant 1996–1998 February 28, 1948 (age 71)
Lawrence Gonzi 2004–2013 July 1, 1953 (age 65)

See also


  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2011-03-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-07. Retrieved 2009-08-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-07. Retrieved 2009-08-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
Alfred Sant

Alfred Sant, (born 28 February 1948) is a Maltese politician and a novelist. He led the Labour Party from 1992 to 2008 and served as Prime Minister of Malta between 1996 and 1998 and as Leader of the Opposition from 1992 to 1996 and from 1998 to 2008.

Cabinet of Malta

The Cabinet of Malta is the collective decision-making body of the Government of Malta, composed of the Prime Minister and a number of Ministers who are selected by the Prime Minister from the elected members of House of Representatives to head government departments. Parliamentary Secretaries (equivalent to junior ministers) can also be invited to attend cabinet meetings as well as other senior government officials. It is presided over by the Prime Minister of Malta.

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.

Chris Fearne

Christopher "Chris" Fearne (born 12 March 1963) is a Maltese physician and politician. He was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Health in April 2014 and Minister for Health since April 2016. In July 2017, the Labour Party elected him as Deputy Leader for Parliamentary Affairs, thus assuming the role of Deputy Prime Minister of Malta and Leader of the House.

Commission for the Administration of Justice of Malta

This Commission for the Administration of Justice of Malta is set up under the relevant provisions of the Constitution, and is chaired by the President of Malta. It is composed of nine other members including the Chief Justice of Malta (Deputy Chairman), the Attorney General of Malta, two members elected by the judges of the Superior Courts for a period of four years, two members elected by the magistrates of the Inferior Courts for a period of four years, one member appointed by the Prime Minister of Malta for a period of four years and another member nominated by the Leader of the Opposition as well as the President of the Chamber of Advocates. The persons nominated by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition must be at least forty-five years of age, and enjoy the respect of the public and have a reputation of integrity and honesty.

Deputy Prime Minister of Malta

The Deputy Prime Minister of Malta (Maltese: Viċi Prim Ministru) is the second-most senior officer in the Government of Malta after the Prime Minister of Malta being a minister in his own right.

Dom Mintoff

Domenico Mintoff, (Maltese: Duminku Mintoff; often called il-Perit, "the Architect"; 6 August 1916 – 20 August 2012) was a Maltese Democratic Socialist politician, architect, anti-colonialist revolutionary, and civil engineer who was leader of the Labour Party from 1949 to 1984, and was 8th Prime Minister of Malta from 1955 to 1958, when Malta was still a British colony, and again, following independence, from 1971 to 1984. His tenure as Prime Minister saw the creation of a comprehensive welfare state, nationalisation of large corporations, a substantial increase in the general standard of living and the establishment of the Maltese republic, but was later on marred by a stagnant economy and outbreaks of political violence.

Enrico Mizzi

Enrico "Nerik" Mizzi (20 September 1885 – 20 December 1950) was a Maltese politician, leader of the Maltese Nationalist Party and briefly Prime Minister of Malta.

Francesco Buhagiar

Francesco Buhagiar (7 September 1876 – 27 June 1934), son of Michele Buhagiar and Filomena Mifsud, was the second Prime Minister of Malta (1923–1924). He was elected from the Maltese Political Union.

Gerald Strickland, 1st Baron Strickland

Gerald Paul Joseph Cajetan Carmel Antony Martin Strickland, 6th Count della Catena, 1st Baron Strickland, (24 May 1861 – 22 August 1940), was a Maltese and British politician and peer, who served as Prime Minister of Malta, Governor of the Leeward Islands, Governor of Tasmania, Governor of Western Australia and Governor of New South Wales, in addition to sitting successively in the House of Commons and House of Lords in the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

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.

Joseph Howard (Prime Minister)

Joseph Howard, OBE (1862–20 May 1925) was Prime Minister of Malta from 1921 to 1923.

Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici

Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici, (born 17 July 1933) is a Maltese politician who served as Prime Minister of Malta from December 1984 to May 1987. He is a member of the Labour Party. He studied law at the University of Malta.

Lawrence Gonzi

Lawrence Gonzi, (born 1 July 1953) is a Maltese politician, retired Nationalist politician and lawyer, who served for twenty-five years in various critical roles in Maltese politics. Gonzi was Prime Minister of Malta from 2004 to 2013, and leader of the Nationalist Party. He also served as speaker of the House from 1988 to 1996, and Minister of Social Policy from 1998 to 2004, as well as Deputy Prime Minister from 1999 to 2004. He served in practically all positions in Parliament, being also Leader of the House, an MP and Leader of the Opposition.Taking over as Prime Minister from Eddie Fenech Adami, Lawrence Gonzi led the islands through the delicate first years of EU membership. He piloted crucial economic and political reforms, spearheaded Malta's adoption of the euro, and the entry into force of the Schengen agreement. Gonzi is viewed chiefly responsible for Malta's swift progress in the EU. His decision to privatise the Malta shipyards, and the pensions reform, proved to be unpopular. Following a razor-thin electoral victory in 2008, perceptions of arrogance in his cabinet, fomented by the Labour Party opposition and rebel backbenchers, dented his second term of office. Following the loss of a financial vote, his government lost supply in December 2012. The Nationalist party went on to lose the successive general election, leading to Gonzi's resignation and eventual retirement from politics.

Gonzi stressed the need to ensure sustainable development and environmental stewardship on the islands, also focusing on strengthening the education and healthcare sectors. In international diplomacy, Gonzi was lauded for his role in the Libyan Revolution, breaking Malta's long relationship with the Gaddafi regime, and siding with the rebels. Additionally, his humanitarian response to the migratory pressures enfolding around Malta led to the first voluntary European migrant burden sharing pact. He was also highly regarded by EU leaders who worked by his side during his nine years as prime minister.

List of Deputy Prime Ministers of Malta

Eleven people have served as Deputy Prime Minister of Malta since the office was established in 1947. The post did not exist in the period between 1949 and 1971 and was vacant in the period between 2012 and 2013.

Political parties Labour Party

Nationalist Party

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 prime ministers of Malta

Thirteen people have served as prime minister of Malta since the office was established in 1921. The post did not exist in the period between 1933 and 1947 and also in the period between 1958 and 1962.

Political parties Political Union

Nationalist Party

Constitutional Party

Labour Party

Workers Party

Louis Grech

Louis Grech (born 22 March 1947) is a Maltese politician who served as Deputy Prime Minister of Malta, as well as Minister of European Affairs. He also served as Deputy Leader for Parliamentary Affairs of the Labour Party. He currently serves as consultant to the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and attends Cabinet.

Midalja għall-Qadi tar-Repubblika

The Midalja għall-Qadi tar-Repubblika (Medal for Service to the Republic) is a medal of the Republic of Malta. The medal is awarded by the President of Malta, with the written approval of the Prime Minister of Malta, for distinguished service to Malta. The award is presented to Maltese citizens and organizations, but may be awarded to foreigners on an honorary basis for service which merits recognition. No more than ten Maltese citizens may be awarded the medal over the course of a year. The medal may be awarded posthumously.Recipients of the medal are entitled to use the post-nominal M.Q.R.

Prime Ministers of Malta
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Heads of
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