Malta is a republic of parliamentary
democracy. The country became independent from the UK in
1964 and is a member of the Commonwealth (Britain and
the former British colonies). The British queen was head
of state until 1974 when the constitution was changed
and Malta became a republic.
The Constitution guarantees the individual's freedoms
and rights as well as the independence of the courts
from the legislative and the executive power. A
constitutional amendment from 1987 states that Malta is
neutral and alliance-free. No foreign military bases are
allowed on Maltese territory.
Total population and chart of Malta for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
The president is head of state, but has only
representative duties. The President is elected by
Parliament for a term of five years.
The leader of the party supported by a majority of
MPs is appointed prime minister by the president. The
prime minister then decides for himself how many and who
should be included in the government.
Parliament, the House of Representatives, makes laws.
The members are elected in general elections every five
years. The number of parliamentarians, currently 69, can
be changed if the Assembly decides. In the elections a
proportional election system is applied. If a party wins
more than 50 percent of the vote but still does not get
more than half of the seats in parliament, the party is
allocated extra seats to reach a majority. The voting
age was lowered from 18 to 16 at the beginning of 2018.
The Workers' Party (Partit Laburista,
PL) and the Nationalist Party (Partit
Nazzjonalista, PN) have dominated political life in
Malta since independence. The Nationalist Party was
founded in 1880 and has sprung from the nationalism that
advanced across Europe in the late 1800s. The Labor
Party, which until November 2008 was called the Partit
Speech-Haddiema in Maltese, was born in 1921 from the
trade union movement. Both parties have been equally
strong in almost all elections. The Nationalist Party
held government power from 1998 to 2013 when the Labor
Party gained a majority in the parliamentary elections.
The Nationalist Party is described as conservative,
market liberal and Western friendly. The Labor Party has
traditionally advocated more state intervention in the
economy and social life. The two parties have been
approaching each other in financial matters since the
late 1980s. Over the years, the Nationalist Party has
come to accept higher taxes and increased social
spending, while the Labor Party now advocates a more
market-oriented and entrepreneurial economic policy. The
Labor Party was previously opposed to EU accession, but
after the Nationalist Party pushed through Malta's entry
into the Union in 2004, the Party has changed its stance
and is now looking favorably at the EU.
Malta's other parties have never succeeded in
entering Parliament. The largest of the small parties is
the Environmental Party Democratic Alternative
(Alternative Democracy - The Green Party, AD), formed in
Going to vote is considered important and there are
few couchers. Party affiliation has traditionally been
accorded great social significance and has had to decide
everything from place of residence to socializing.
Strong party loyalty has meant that the parties' vote
share has shown small differences from election to
election. However, as the parties approached each other,
party loyalty has slackened somewhat.
Malta has a well functioning and independent legal
system that has been built up under French, British and
Italian influence. Under the Supreme Court, special
courts sort for, for example, litigation, criminal and
commercial cases. The death penalty was abolished in
The country's prisons hold international standards,
but the UN Commissioner for Refugees, the EU, Amnesty
International and other international organizations have
repeatedly criticized the Maltese authorities for
holding refugees in camps where living conditions are
The EU has criticized Malta for not doing enough to
combat corruption, despite the fact that there has long
been a national anti-corruption commission. Corruption
is considered to occur both at local and national
authorities, as well as among politicians at various
levels. According to the voluntary organization
Transparency International's corruption statistics,
Malta came in 37th place when examining the level of
corruption in 167 of the world's countries made in 2015.
Thus, Malta ranked just below France but significantly
higher than Italy which came in 61st place. However, the
result showed a deterioration compared with 2005 when
Malta was in 25th place.
The Labor Party wins EU elections
The Maltese vote in their second EU parliamentary elections. Like 2004, the
Labor Party, which gets three of the country's five seats in the European
Parliament, wins, while the Nationalist Party gets two seats. Malta gets a sixth
place later that year in accordance with the Lisbon Treaty, which comes into
force in December 2009. The place goes to the Labor Party.
Swap the presidential post
On April 1, Parliament will elect George Abela from the Labor Party as new
president. He replaces Edward Fenech-Adami of the Nationalist Party.