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Malta Government Profile 2017

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Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Malta
conventional short form: Malta
local long form: Repubblika ta' Malta
local short form: Malta
etymology: the ancient Greeks called the island "Melite" meaning "honey-sweet" from the Greek word "meli" meaning "honey" and referring to the island's honey production
Government typeparliamentary republic
Capitalname: Valletta
geographic coordinates: 35 53 N, 14 30 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions68 localities (Il-lokalita); Attard, Balzan, Birgu, Birkirkara, Birzebbuga, Bormla, Dingli, Fgura, Floriana, Fontana, Ghajnsielem, Gharb, Gharghur, Ghasri, Ghaxaq, Gudja, Gzira, Hamrun, Iklin, Imdina, Imgarr, Imqabba, Imsida, Imtarfa, Isla, Kalkara, Kercem, Kirkop, Lija, Luqa, Marsa, Marsaskala, Marsaxlokk, Mellieha, Mosta, Munxar, Nadur, Naxxar, Paola, Pembroke, Pieta, Qala, Qormi, Qrendi, Rabat, Rabat (Ghawdex), Safi, San Giljan/Saint Julian, San Gwann/Saint John, San Lawrenz/Saint Lawrence, Sannat, San Pawl il-Bahar/Saint Paul's Bay, Santa Lucija/Saint Lucia, Santa Venera/Saint Venera, Siggiewi, Sliema, Swieqi, Tarxien, Ta' Xbiex, Valletta, Xaghra, Xewkija, Xghajra, Zabbar, Zebbug, Zebbug (Ghawdex), Zejtun, Zurrieq
Independence21 September 1964 (from the UK)
National holidayIndependence Day, 21 September (1964); Republic Day, 13 December (1974)
Constitutionhistory: many previous; latest adopted 21 September 1964
amendments: proposals (Acts of Parliament) require at least two-thirds majority vote by the House of Representatives; passage of "Acts" requires majority vote by referendum, followed by final majority vote by the House and assent by the president of the republic; amended many times, last in 2016 (2017)
Legal systemmixed legal system of English common law and civil law (based on the Roman and Napoleonic civil codes)
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Malta
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
Suffrage18 years of age (16 in local council elections); universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Marie-Louise Coleiro PRECA (since 4 April 2014)
head of government: Prime Minister Joseph MUSCAT (since 11 March 2013)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the House of Representatives for a 5-year term (1-term limit); election last held on 4 April 2014 (next to be held by April 2019); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the president for a 5-year term; deputy prime minister appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
election results: Marie-Louise Coleiro PRECA (PL) elected president; House of Representatives vote - unanimous; Joseph MUSCAT (PL) appointed prime minister
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral House of Representatives or Il-Kamra Tad-Deputati, a component of the Parliament of Malta (normally 65 seats, but can include at-large members; members directly elected in 5 multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms); note - the parliament elected in 2013 had 69 seats; an additional two seats were added in 2016 by the Constitutional Court to correct for mistakes made in the 2013 vote-counting process
elections: last held on 3 June 2017 (next to be held in June 2022); note - Prime Minister MUSCAT called for early elections amid corruption allegations
election results: percent of vote by party - PL 55%, PN 43.7%, other 1.3%; seats by party - PL 37 PN 30; note - PN was awarded two additional seats for a total of 30 in accordance with the proportionality provisions specified in the constitution; PD candidates ran under the PN list
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of either 1 or 3 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 3 judges); Court of Criminal Appeal (consists of either 1 or 3 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court judges appointed by the president, usually upon the advice of the prime minister; judges of both courts serve until age 65
subordinate courts: Civil Court (divided into the General Jurisdiction Section, Family Section, and Voluntary Section); Criminal Court; Court of Magistrates; Gozo Courts (for the islands of Gozo and Comino}
Political parties and leadersAlternattiva Demokratika or AD (Green Party) [Arnold CASSOLA]
Democratic Party or PD [Marlene FARRUGIA]
Labor Party or PL [Joseph MUSCAT]
Moviment Patriojetti Malti (Maltese Patriots Movement) [Henry BATTISTINO]
Nationalist Party or PN [Simon BUSUTTIL]
Political pressure groups and leadersAlliance of Liberal Democrats Malta (Alleanza Liberali-Demokratika Malta) or ALDM (for divorce, abortion, gay marriage, women's rights)
Alliance for Change (Alleanza Bidla) (Euro-skeptic)
Together for a Better Environment (Flimkien Ghal-Ambjent Ahjar) or FAA (pro-environment)

other: environmentalists
International organization participationAustralia Group, C, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina (observer), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Pierre Clive AGIUS (since 2 March 2016)
chancery: 2017 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 462-3611 through 3612
FAX: [1] (202) 387-5470
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador G. Kathleen HILL (since 25 February 2016)
embassy: Ta' Qali National Park, Attard, ATD 4000
mailing address: 5800 Valletta Place, Dulles, VA 20189
telephone: [356] 2561 4000
FAX: [356] 2124 3229
Flag descriptiontwo equal vertical bands of white (hoist side) and red; in the upper hoist-side corner is a representation of the George Cross, edged in red; according to legend, the colors are taken from the red and white checkered banner of Count Roger of Sicily who removed a bi-colored corner and granted it to Malta in 1091; an uncontested explanation is that the colors are those of the Knights of Saint John who ruled Malta from 1530 to 1798; in 1942, King George VI of the UK awarded the George Cross to the islanders for their exceptional bravery and gallantry in World War II; since independence in 1964, the George Cross bordered in red has appeared directly on the white field
National symbol(s)Maltese eight-pointed cross; national colors: red, white
National anthemname: "L-Innu Malti" (The Maltese Anthem)
lyrics/music: Dun Karm PSAILA/Robert SAMMUT
note: adopted 1945; written in the form of a prayer

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017