In honor of today’s American election, I thought a brief description of Maltese elections might interest you.
Elections take place in Malta once every five years. Unlike in America where election day is a specific day, in Malta the Prime Minister gets to decide when the election will be held. It is held sometime prior to the 3 months following the first sitting of the current government. The current/next election must be held by August 10, 2013.
In the US, the Presidential election is the selection of a specific person. In Malta, the election is of the party. The Members of the House of Representatives are elected and the party that wins the most seats becomes the ruling party. The President is then appointed by the House of Representatives and, as he is basically a figurehead, he then appoints a Prime Minister who is the head of government.
Interestingly, just as in America, the population is divided 50/50 between the two parties so there will be a close race in Malta just as is happening in the US. The two parties are Nationalist and Labour, and the dividing line is the north (Nationalist) versus the south (Labour). The Nationalist Party has currently been in power for 25 years and many people are ready for a change.
The Maltese are very intrigued by America and our friends frequently ask us how the political system works in America as they find it fascinating.
Along with you, we are anxiously awaiting the outcome of today’s US election.
I will keep you posted on the Maltese election as it happens.
And, please remember to vote today.