Browse the listing below to find government information for Malta, including flags, leaders,
and constitution information. Factrover also has complete information on Malta at its
Malta Country Page.
Independence: September 1964.
Constitution: 1964; revised 1974; revised 1987.
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state), prime minister (head of government), cabinet. Legislative--unicameral House of Representatives. Judicial--Constitutional Court.
Administrative subdivisions: 13 electoral districts.
Political parties: Nationalist Party, Malta Labor Party, Alternattiva Demokratika (Green Party).
Suffrage: Universal at 18.
Government of Malta
Under its 1964 Constitution, Malta became a parliamentary democracy within the Commonwealth. Queen Elizabeth II was sovereign of Malta, and a governor general exercised executive authority on her behalf, while the actual direction and control of the government and the nation's affairs were in the hands of the cabinet under the leadership of a Maltese prime minister.
On December 13, 1974, the Constitution was revised, and Malta became a republic within the Commonwealth, with executive authority vested in a Maltese president. The president appoints as prime minister the leader of the party with a majority of seats in the unicameral House of Representatives. The president also nominally appoints, upon recommendation of the prime minister, the individual ministers to head each of the government departments. The cabinet is selected from among the members of the House of Representatives. This body consists of between 65 and 69 members elected on the basis of proportional representation. Elections must be held at least every five years. Candidates for any vacancies are determined by the majority of votes obtained by a candidate during the previous elections.
Malta's judiciary is independent. The chief justice and 16 judges are appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister. Their mandatory retirement age is 65. There is a civil court, a commercial court, and a criminal court. In the latter, the presiding judge sits with a jury of nine. The court of appeal hears appeals from decisions of the civil court and of the commercial court. The court of criminal appeal hears appeals from judgments of conviction by the criminal court. The highest court, the Constitutional Court, hears appeals in cases involving violations of human rights, interpretation of the constitution, and invalidity of laws. It also has jurisdiction in cases concerning disputed parliamentary elections and electoral corrupt practices. There also are inferior courts presided over by a magistrate.
The Local Councils Act, 1993 (Act XV of 1993) was published on June 30, 1993 subdividing Malta into 54 local councils in Malta and 14 in Gozo. Councils are elected every 3 years by inhabitants who are registered as voters in the Electoral Register. Elections are held by means of the system of proportional representation using the single transferable vote. The Mayor is the head of the Local Council and the representative of the Council for all effects under the Act. The Executive Secretary, who is appointed by the Council, is the executive, administrative, and financial head of the Council. All decisions are taken collectively with the other members of the Council. Local Councils are responsible for the general upkeep and embellishment of the locality, local wardens, refuse collection, and carry out general administrative duties for the central government such as collection of government rents and funds, and answering government-related public inquiries.