Prime Minister of Malta

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

since 11 March 2013
Style The Honourable
Member of Cabinet of Malta
European Council
Residence Villa Francia (primary)
Girgenti Palace (summer)
Appointer President of Malta
Inaugural holder Joseph Howard
Formation1923
Website http://opm.gov.mt/
Coat of arms of Malta.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Malta
Foreign relations

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

Maltese language Semitic language

Maltese is the national language of Malta and a co-official language of the country alongside English, while also serving as an official language of the European Union, the only Semitic language so distinguished. Maltese is descended from Siculo-Arabic, the extinct variety of Arabic that developed in Sicily and was later introduced to Malta, between the end of the ninth century and the end of the twelfth century.

Malta island republic in Europe

Malta, officially known as the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km (50 mi) south of Italy, 284 km (176 mi) east of Tunisia, and 333 km (207 mi) north of Libya. With a population of about 475,000 over an area of 316 km2 (122 sq mi), Malta is the world's tenth smallest and fifth most densely populated country. Its capital is Valletta, which is the smallest national capital in the European Union by area at 0.8 km². The official languages are Maltese and English, with Maltese officially recognised as the national language and the only Semitic language in the European Union.

Contents

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.

Gerald Strickland, 1st Baron Strickland Maltese-British politician

Gerald Paul Joseph Cajetan Carmel Antony Martin Strickland, 6th Count della Catena, 1st Baron Strickland,, 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.

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.

A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a “public matter”, not the private concern or property of the rulers. The primary positions of power within a republic are not inherited, but are attained through democracy, oligarchy or autocracy. It is a form of government under which the head of state is not a hereditary monarch.

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.

President of Malta constitutional head of state of Malta

The President of 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. 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.

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.

The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in a country, or an international community. The first legal systems of the world were set up to prevent citizens to settle conflicts with violence.

Office of the Prime Minister of Malta (OPM)

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

Auberge de Castille

The Auberge de Castille is an auberge in Valletta, Malta. It was originally built in the 1570s to house knights of the Order of Saint John from the langue of Castile, León and Portugal. The present building dates back to the 1740s, when it was completely rebuilt during the magistracy of Manuel Pinto da Fonseca. The new auberge was built in the Baroque style, and it has been called "probably the finest building in Malta". It now houses the Office of the Prime Minister of Malta.

Valletta Local council in South Eastern Region, Malta

Valletta is the capital city of Malta. Located in the south east of the island, between Marsamxett Harbour to the west and the Grand Harbour to the east, its population in 2014 was 6,444, while the metropolitan area around it has a population of 393,938. Valletta is the southernmost capital of Europe.

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

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

See also

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References

  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)