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MALTA
Il-Kamra Tad-Deputati (House of Representatives)

This page contains the full text of the PARLINE database entry on the selected parliamentary chamber, with the exception of Specialized bodies modules which, because of their excessive length, can be only viewed and printed separately.

Modules:
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name (generic / translated) Il-Kamra Tad-Deputati / House of Representatives
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Structure of parliament Unicameral
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 1988 -
LEADERSHIP
President Angelo Farrugia (M) 
Notes Sworn in on 6 Apr. 2013.
Secretary General Ray Scicluna (M) 
Notes 1 Feb. 2012 -
COMPOSITION
Members (statutory / current number) 65 / 70
PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN


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Women (current number) 10 (14.29%)
Mode of designation directly elected 65
other 5
Notes Other: includes four additional members elected in accordance with the Constitution and the Speaker*.

*The Speaker may be designated from outside parliament and becomes a member of parliament ex officio.
Term 5 years
Last renewal dates 9 March 2013
(View details)
CONTACT INFORMATION
Address House of Representatives
Parliament of Malta
The Palace VALLETTA VLT 1115
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (356) 25 59 60 00
25 59 62 06
Fax (356) 25 59 64 00
E-mail parlinfo@parlament.mt
ray.scicluna@parlament.mt
Website
http://www.parlament.mt/

ELECTORAL SYSTEM

Parliament name (generic / translated) Il-Kamra Tad-Deputati / House of Representatives
Structure of parliament Unicameral
LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Electoral law 27 September 1991
30.09.2007
Mode of designation directly elected 65
other 5
Constituencies 13 multi-member (5 seats) constituencies ("divisions").
Voting system Proportional: Single-transferable-vote (STV).
Each elector indicates his/her order of preference among all the candidates in his/her electoral district regardless of candidates' political affiliation. In the first count, those who satisfy the Hagenbach-Bischoff quotient are declared elected. Should any seats remain vacant, the surplus votes polled by candidates already elected are transferred proportionately to the remaining candidates on the basis of the second preferences indicated. The votes thus transferred are added to those polled by each remaining candidate. The candidate (candidates) who now possesses (possess) a number of votes equal to, or greater than the quotient is (are) elected. Candidates with the lowest number of votes are eliminated and their votes are transferred to the other remaining candidates according to the next preference shown on the ballot paper. The same operation is repeated until there are no more seats to be filled.
In cases where two parties win parliamentary representation in a given general election, additional members may be elected in accordance with the Constitution to ensure that the party with the majority of first preference votes secures a one-seat majority in the House of Representatives.
The additional seats are given to the remaining unelected candidates of the winning party irrespective of the district contested.
Candidates to the general elections may contest no more than two districts. In case they are elected from two districts, they will choose one district that they will represent after the elections. The seats vacated by these candidates will be filled by "casual elections" prior to the first session of the House of Representatives (which must be held within two months of the announcement of the official results of the general elections to the President). Any unsuccessful candidates in the general elections may run for their district's casual election. In practice, however, only the candidates from the party that vacated the seat contest the casual elections (thus the overall election results are not affected). To be elected in the casual elections, candidates must obtain more than 50 per cent of the total votes cast. Other vacancies arising between general elections are filled through by-elections.
Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements - age: 18 years
- Maltese citizenship
- residence in the country (for a continuous period of six months, or for periods amounting in the aggregate to six months, during the 18 months immediately preceding registration as elector)
- disqualifications: insanity, sentence of death or imprisonment exceeding 12 months, conviction for elections-connected offence
CANDIDATES
Eligibility Qualified electors
- age: 18 years
- Maltese citizenship
- disqualifications: allegiance to a foreign State, undischarged bankruptcy
Incompatibilities - holders of public office
- members of the armed forces
- certain government contractors
- officials connected with the conduct of the elections
Candidacy requirements - nomination by four voters registered in the same electoral division
- deposit equivalent to approximately US$ 100, which is reimbursed if the number of votes obtained exceeds 1/10 of the applicable electoral quotient for the division.

LAST ELECTIONS

Parliament name (generic / translated) Il-Kamra Tad-Deputati / House of Representatives
Structure of parliament Unicameral
BACKGROUND
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 9 March 2013
Timing and scope of renewal The Malta Labour Party (MLP), led by Mr. Joseph Muscat, won 39 seats (see note), defeating Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi's Nationalist Party (PN) which took 30. The MLP had last led the country from 1996 to 1998.

During the election campaign, the PN, which had otherwise governed without interruption since 1987, ran on the government's record, stating that it had managed to avert the economic turmoil affecting other euro zone countries in the Mediterranean. The MLP promised to reduce electricity prices by 25% and to tackle corruption.

Note:
The statutory number of seats in the House of Representatives is 65. Four additional seats were granted to the PN in accordance with article 52 (1) of the Constitution, so that the number of seats it held would be proportional to the number of first-count votes it won in the elections. One more seat was created for the Speaker, who was elected from outside parliament, making the total number of seats in the new parliament to be 70.
(http://www.parlament.mt/constituion-of-malta)
Date of previous elections: 8 March 2008

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 7 January 2013

Timing of election:Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: March 2018

Number of seats at stake: 65 (full renewal)

Number of parties contesting the election: 3

Number of parties winning seats: 2

Alternation of power: Yes

Number of parties in government: 1

Names of parties in government: Malta Labour Party (MLP)

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 6 April 2013

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Angelo Farrugia*
*The Speaker was designated from outside parliament.
STATISTICS
Voter turnout
Round no 19 March 2013
Number of registered electors
Voters
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
333'072
309'600 (92.95%)
4'044
305'556
Notes
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
Malta Labour Party (MLP)
Nationalist Party (PN)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
Malta Labour Party (MLP) 39
Nationalist Party (PN) 30
Distribution of seats according to sex
Men

Women

Percent of women
60

10

14.29%
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Comments
Note on the distribution of seats according to sex:
The distribution of seats according to sex includes 65 directly elected members, four additional members elected in accordance with the Constitution and the Speaker, who himself was designated from outside parliament.

Sources:
House of Representatives (10.04.2013)
http://www.electoral.gov.mt

PRESIDENCY OF THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name (generic / translated) Il-Kamra Tad-Deputati / House of Representatives
Structure of parliament Unicameral
APPOINTMENT AND TERM OF OFFICE
Title Speaker of the House of Representatives
Term - duration: 5 years (term of House); elected on 24/10/1998
- reasons for interruption of the term, in the case of a Speaker elected from among the Members of the Parliament: if he ceases to be a Member, if he is appointed Minister or Parliamentary Secretary, or in case of resignation, dissolution of Parliament, and death
- reasons for interruption of the term in the case of a Speaker elected from among persons who are not Members of the Parliament: if for any reasons he is disqualified for the elections of the House of Representatives, if he is considerated as mentally disabled by a court, if he is serving a sentence of imprisonment exceeding 12 months, if he is disqualified for registration as a voter because he has been convicted of an offence connected with the election of the Members of the Parliament, or in case of resignation, dissolution of the Parliament and death
Appointment - elected by all Members of the House
- election is held when the new House first meets after the general elections, or after the resignation of the Speaker
- after Members' mandates are validated and before Members are sworn in
Eligibility - Any member of the House of Representatives (who is neither a Minister nor a Parliamentary Secretary) and persons who are not members but who qualify for the election may stand as a candidate
- In cases where the person elected as Speaker is not a member of the House, he/she shall become a member of the House ex officio. However, the Speaker shall not be treated as a member of the House for purposes of establishing the number of votes required to support a bill on constitutional amendments.
Voting system - formal vote by public ballot
- one round
- simple majority
Procedures / results - the Clerk presides over the House during the voting
- the Clerk supervises the voting
- the Clerk announces the results without any delay
- the results can be challenged
STATUS
Status - ranks fifth in the hierarchy of State after the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Archbishop, the Chief Justice
- represents the House with the public authorities
- represents the House in international bodies
- in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker can assume his/her role and functions
Board
Material facilities - salary (similar to a Minister's salary)
- official car and driver
- private secretary
FUNCTIONS
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions in exceptional circumstances with the Deputy Speaker
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments with the Deputy Speaker
Chairing of public sittings In collaboration with the Deputy Speaker:
- can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the House
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- gives and withdraws permission to speak
- establishes the order in which amendments are taken up and selects which amendments are to be debated
- decides how the vote is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- checks the quorum
- authenticates the adopted texts and the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the House
- has discretionary power to give the floor outside the agenda and thus organizes impromptu debates
Special powers - in practice, approves the House's budget
- recruits, assigns and promotes staff
- organizes the services of Parliament
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- is responsible with the Deputy Speaker for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the House

Participation:
- takes part in voting if a casting vote is necessary
- guarantees the democratic process throughout the succeeding stages and signs every act before sending it to the President of the Republic for his assent
- oversees that the procedures and rules mentioned specifically in the Constitution are followed
Speaking and voting rights, other functions

This page was last updated on 29 May 2013
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