Cabinet agrees to have next president elected by two-thirds parliamentary majority

Cabinet has approved a proposal to have the president elected in parliament by a two-thirds majority as part of wide-ranging reforms to the country’s institutions

President George Vella was elected to the country's top post last year after receiving unanimous backing in parliament despite a simple majority sufficing but his successor will have to obtain a two-thirds majority
President George Vella was elected to the country's top post last year after receiving unanimous backing in parliament despite a simple majority sufficing but his successor will have to obtain a two-thirds majority

Malta’s next president can be expected to be elected in parliament by a two-thirds majority after Cabinet has agreed to endorse the proposal.

According to sister newspaper Illum, Cabinet took a final decision on the matter sometime last week.

The proposal is one of many others being considered by the government as part of the institutional reforms suggested by the Venice Commission.

The Nationalist Party had suggested the adoption of a two-thirds mechanism for the election of the president and wanted this constitutional amendment to come into force before last year’s appointment of George Vella. At the time, the government turned down the proposal.

Eventually, Vella received parliament’s full backing to become president.

Under current rules, the president is nominated by the prime minister and only requires a simple majority in parliament to be elected to the post.

The proposal approved by Cabinet will also include a fail mechanism, which will allow the nominee to be elected to the post of president by a simple majority if the two-thirds is not obtained after a number of votes.

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