The House of Representatives is made up of 69 members of parliament. However, where a party wins an absolute majority of votes, but does not have a majority of seats, that party is given additional seats to ensure a parliamentary majority. The Constitution of Malta provides that the president appoint as prime minister the member of the House who is best able to command a (governing) majority in the House.
The President of the Republic is elected every five years by the House of Representatives. The role of the president as head of state is largely ceremonial. The main political parties are the Nationalist Party, which is a Christian democratic party, and the Labour Party, with Dr. Joseph Muscat as its leader, which is a social democratic party. The Nationalist Party is currently at the helm of the government, the Prime Minister being Dr. Lawrence Gonzi. The Labour Party is in opposition. There are a number of smaller political parties in Malta that presently have no parliamentary representation.
George Abela is the eights president of Malta.
On 12 January 2009, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi announced that the Government was proposing George Abela as the next President of Malta. He was to succeed Eddie Fenech Adami, whose five-year term as President of Malta expired on 4 April 2009.This was the first time in Maltese history that the government nominated a President from the opposition. Abela resigned from MEUSAC and the Labour Party, paving the way for the succession. On 1 April 2009, the House of Representatives approved George Abela as the 8th President of the Republic. The motion was moved by Prime Minister Gonzi and seconded by Opposition Leader Joseph Muscat. On 4 April 2009 at noon, George Abela was sworn in as President of Malta by the Speaker Louis Galea.
Abela was born in Qormi Malta to George and Ludgarda née Debono. He attended the local primary school in Qormi, and the Lyceum in Hamrun. In 1965 he enrolled in the University of Malta, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree. He continued his studies and became a notary public, and in 1975 he graduated as a lawyer. He was immediately hired by the General Worker’s Union as a legal consultant and worked within the Union for 25 years thereby obtaining considerable experience in employment law. His wife is Margaret Cauchi. They have a boy and a girl, Robert and Maria.
Joseph Muscat (born 22 January 1974) is a Maltese politician and the current Prime Minister of Malta.
Muscat has been leader of the Labour Party since 6 June 2008, and he was Leader of the Opposition from 1 October 2008 to 10 March 2013. Previously he was a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2008.
After the Labour Party’s victory in the March 2013 general election, Muscat took office as Prime Minister on 11 March 2013.
Malta is a republic whose parliamentary system and public administration is closely modelled on the Westminster system. Malta had the second-highest voter turnout in the world (and the highest for nations without mandatory voting), based on election turnout in national lower house elections from 1960 to 1995. The unicameral House of Representatives, (Maltese: Kamra tad-Deputati), is elected by direct universal suffrage through single transferable vote every five years, unless the House is dissolved earlier by the President on advice of the Prime Minister.