The Parliament of Malta (Maltese: Il-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.

Parliament of Malta

Il-Parlament ta' Malta
14th Legislature
Coat of arms or logo
HousesHouse of Representatives
Parliament of Malta
Political groups
Government (44)
  •   Labour Party (43)
  •   Independent (1)

Opposition (35)

Single transferable vote (not counting members co-opted to fulfill gender quota)
Last election
26 March 2022
Next election
Meeting place
Parliament House, Valletta

Between 1921 and 1933 the Parliament was bicameral, consisting of a Senate (Senat) as well as a Legislative Assembly (Assemblea Leġiżlattiva).

House of Representatives of Malta edit

The House of Representatives (Maltese: Kamra tad-Deputati) is the unicameral legislature of Malta and a component of the Parliament of Malta. The House is presided over by the Speaker of the House. The President of Malta is appointed for a five-year term by a resolution of the House.

Composition edit

The House is composed of an odd number of members elected for one legislative term of five years. Five members are returned from each of thirteen electoral districts using the single transferable vote electoral system, but additional members are elected in cases of dis-proportionality. Since 2022, 12 extra seats are provided to female candidates, as long as they fail to make up 40% of the elected members, leading to a total of 79 MPs after the 2022 election.

Electoral system edit

MPs are elected from 13 five-seat constituencies by single transferable vote.[1] Candidates who pass the Hagenbach-Bischoff quota in the first round are elected, and any surplus votes transferred to the remaining candidates, who will be elected if this enables them to pass the quota.[1] The lowest ranked candidates are then eliminated one-by-one with their preferences transferred to other candidates, who are elected as they pass the quotient, until all five seats are filled.[2] If a party wins a majority of first preference votes but fails to achieve a parliamentary majority, they are awarded seats to ensure a one-seat majority, if they are one of only two parties to obtain seats.[2] While the ranked preferential system used is technically proportional, the low number of seats per constituency (five) means that parties can only receive seats if they reach at least 16.7% of votes,[3] so smaller parties are excluded from representation. Consequently, Malta has a stable two-party system, with only the Labour Party and Nationalist Party having a realistic chance of forming a government.[4][5]

In 2018, the national voting age was lowered to 16.[6] In 2021, a gender-corrective mechanism was introduced, with the new Article 52(A) of the Constitution providing for up to 12 additional seats for unelected candidates from "the under-represented sex" in case one of both makes up less than 40% of the elected MPs.[7] As women have never made up more than ~15% of the elected candidates prior to this mechanism, this effectively leads to 12 extra women (6 from each party) in parliament.

Meeting place edit

Between 1921 and 2015, the House of Representatives was housed in the Grandmaster's Palace in Valletta.[8] Since 4 May 2015 the House of Representatives has met in the Parliament House, near the city gate of Valletta.

Committees edit

The Standing Orders of the House provide for the creation of eight Parliamentary Standing Committees to make parliamentary work more efficient and enhance Parliament's scrutiny functions.

The Standing Committees are:

  • Standing Committee on House Business
  • Standing Committee on Privileges
  • Standing Committee on Public Accounts
  • Standing Committee on Foreign and European Affairs
  • Standing Committee on Social Affairs
  • Standing Committee on Consideration of Bills
  • Standing Committee on Family Affairs
  • Standing Committee on Economic and Financial Affairs

Other Standing Committees constituted by other statutes include:

  • Standing Committee on Environment and Development Planning
  • National Audit Office Accounts Committee
  • Standing Committee for Public Appointments
  • Committee for Standards in Public Life

There are also select committees and non-official committees.

Latest elections edit

Members edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "How Malta Votes: An Overview - Malta Elections". University of Malta. Archived from the original on 8 March 2022. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Malta, electoral system". Inter-Parliamentary Union. Archived from the original on 12 October 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  3. ^ The Hagenbach-Bischoff quota   is 1/6 of the total votes cast, i.e. about 16.7% of votes
  4. ^ Hirczy de Miño, Wolfgang; C. Lane, John (1999). Malta: STV in a two-party system. p. 17.
  5. ^ Cini, Michelle (2009). "A Divided Nation: Polarization and the Two-Party System in Malta". South European Society and Politics. 7 (1): 6–23. doi:10.1080/714004966. ISSN 1360-8746. S2CID 154269904. Archived from the original on 16 October 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  6. ^ "16-year-olds granted the vote in national elections". Times of Malta. 5 March 2018. Archived from the original on 26 March 2022. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  7. ^ Abbas Shalan, Samira (28 March 2022). "Only 4 women elected, casual election results set to trigger gender mechanism". The Malta Independent. Archived from the original on 19 August 2022. Retrieved 19 August 2022.
  8. ^ "Parliament House inaugurated, holds first sitting: 'A milestone in Malta's parliamentary history' – President". Times of Malta. 4 May 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2015.

External links edit