Anglu Farrugia reconfirmed speaker as Parliament opens for 13th legislature

Members of parliament will swear an oath of allegiance before the President of the Republic delivers her address to the house

Parliament opened today for the 13th legislature since the country's independence
Parliament opened today for the 13th legislature since the country's independence

Speaker Anglu Farrugia has been re-elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, while Opposition MP Claudette Buttigieg has been confirmed as deputy Speaker, as Parliament opens for its 13th legislature, and for the first time in the new parliament building.   

Following mass led by Archbishop Charles Scicluna at St John’s co-cathedral, MPs and other guests walked to parliament where the Clerk of the House read out the official election result delivered by the Electoral Commission.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his wife Michelle on their way to parliament
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his wife Michelle on their way to parliament

Following Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s nomination of Farrugia, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil said that the Opposition would be voting in favour of Farrugia’s nomination despite not having been consulted by the government about the nomination. He added that it would be doing so as a sign of unity and goodwill, while calling on the Speaker to carry out his duties in an impartial manner.

Farrugia was unanimously elected speaker. He thanked both the Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition and in a short address reminded new MPs that the rule of the House as well as precedents set by past speaker must be accepted.

He compared the speaker’s role to that of a judge, insisting that he needed to take decisions when there was disagreement, in order for the debate to continue.

Finally, Farrugia swore to continue carrying out his role as speaker with dignity and impartiality.

The Prime Minister nominated Claudette Buttigieg as deputy Speaker, with both sides of the House also voting in favour.

Buttigieg too thanked both the Prime Minister and Opposition leader, adding that she hoped should would be worthy of the role.

Farrugia then delivered the oath of allegiance to each of the MPs.

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