President of Malta
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|President of Malta
President ta' Malta
|Residence||San Anton Palace|
|Appointer||House of Representatives|
|Term length||Five years|
|Inaugural holder||Anthony Mamo|
|Formation||13 December 1974|
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The President of Malta is the constitutional head of state of Malta. The President is appointed by a resolution of the House of Representatives of Malta for a five-year term, taking an oath to "preserve, protect and defend" the Constitution. The President of Malta also resides directly or indirectly in all three branches of the state. He is part of Parliament and appoints the judiciary. Executive authority is nominally vested in the President, but is in practice exercised by the Prime Minister.
Establishment of Office
The office of the President of Malta (Maltese: President ta' Malta), came into being on 13 December 1974, when Malta became a republic within the Commonwealth. Queen Elizabeth II ceased to be head of state (Queen of Malta) (Maltese: Reġina ta' Malta), and the last Governor-General, Sir Anthony Mamo, became the first President of Malta.
A person shall not be qualified to be appointed President if:
- He is not a citizen of Malta;
- He holds or has held the office of Chief Justice or other Judge of the Superior Courts;
- He is not eligible for appointment to or to act in any public office in accordance with articles 109, 118 and 120 of the Constitution.
Assumption of Office
Before assuming office the nominee must take the oath of office before the House of Representatives of Malta.
The oath reads: I................................. solemnly swear/affirm that I will faithfully execute the office of President (perform the functions of the President) of Malta, and will, to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of Malta. (So help me God).
Whenever the office of President is temporarily vacant, and until a new President is appointed, and whenever the holder of the office is absent from Malta or on vacation or is for any reason unable to perform the functions conferred upon him by this Constitution, those functions shall be performed by such person as the Prime Minister, after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition, may appoint or, if there is no person in Malta so appointed and able to perform those functions, by the Chief Justice.
Role of the president
Among the powers of the president:
- The president promulgates laws.
- The president may dissolve the House of Representatives of Malta acting on the request of the Prime Minister of Malta or following the passage of a no confidence motion in the Government.
- The president names the Prime Minister with the President making his or her decision based on the situation within the Maltese parliament.
- The president names most members of constitutional bodies (with the assent of the Prime Minister of Malta).
- The president receives foreign ambassadors.
- The president may grant a pardon (but not an amnesty) to convicted criminals; the president can also lessen or suppress criminal sentences, acting on the advice of Cabinet or the Minister delegated by Cabinet with such responsibility.
- The president is ex officio Chairman of the Commission for the Administration of Justice of Malta.
- The President is ex officio Head of the Maltese Orders. https://opm.gov.mt/unuri-ghotjiet?l=1 The names of those distinguished persons who are appointed members and honorary members of the Maltese Orders, and of those who are awarded the Midalja għall-Qlubija and the Midalja għall-Qadi tar-Repubblika, are published in the Government Gazette.
- The President is ex officio Chairman of the Malta Community Chest Fund, a charitable non-governmental institution aimed to help philanthropic institutions and individuals. The President’s wife is the Deputy Chairperson. http://www.president.gov.mt/malta-community-chest-fund?l=1
- The President authorises recognition in Malta of honours, awards and decorations. No title of nobility, honour, award, decoration, membership or office may be used in Malta unless it is authorised by the President. The names of those persons so authorized are published in the Government Gazette. http://justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8745&l=1
The Role of the President is detailed in a publication (in the Maltese language) called Il-Manwal tal-President tar-Repubblika written by former President Ugo Mifsud Bonnici. http://www.president.gov.mt/manwal_president?l=1
The official office of the president is the Grandmaster's Palace in Valletta. Other presidential residences include:
Until 1988, there was no flag for the President of Malta, who instead used the national flag, but in that year a new flag was introduced, The Presidential Flag of Malta was introduced by Proclamation dated 12 December 1988. This flag is flown on the President's official residences and offices and on all occasions at which he is present. It has the same proportions as the National Flag and consists of a blue field with the Emblem of Malta at its centre; and a Maltese Cross in gold in each corner. https://gov.mt/en/About%20Malta/Pages/Flags-Symbols-and-their-use.aspx
Termination of appointment
The office of President shall become vacant:
- On the expiration of five years from the date of the appointment to that office;
- If the holder of the office is removed from office by Resolution of the House of Representatives of Malta on the ground of inability to perform the functions of his office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or any other cause) or misbehaviour.