The House of Representatives
(rendered as Kamra tad-Deputati
in Maltese) is the unicameral legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...
and a component of the Parliament of Malta
The Parliament of the Republic of Malta is the constitutional legislative body in Malta, located in Valletta...
The House is composed of an odd number of members (currently has 69) elected for a five year term. Ordinarily, five members are returned from each of thirteen electoral districts
Malta is subdivided in districts of localities in order to administer the country in regions rather than locality. The districts have no administrative significance as the localities provide the first-tier divisions of the country....
through single transferable vote
The single transferable vote is a voting system designed to achieve proportional representation through preferential voting. Under STV, an elector's vote is initially allocated to his or her most preferred candidate, and then, after candidates have been either elected or eliminated, any surplus or...
but additional members are elected in cases of disproportionality (e.g. where party with an absolute majority of votes fails an absolute majority of seats and where only candidates from two parties are elected).
The House is presided over by the Speaker of the House
The Speaker of the House of Representatives of Malta is the collective representative of the House of Representatives of Malta. The Speaker is responsible for controlling the flow of House business and acts as "referee" during debates...
. The President of Malta
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....
is appointed for a five year term by a resolution of the House.
The House is currently housed in the Grandmaster's Palace
The Grandmaster's Palace is located in Valletta. It currently houses the Office of the President of Malta and the House of Representatives, as well as being a heritage site run by Heritage Malta.-History:...
In 2010, works commenced to build a new Parliamentary building. The government's original proposal had been to build Parliament on the site of the former opera house site in Valletta. This was shelved after the footprint was deemed too small and instead the new Parliament building will be built in Freedom Square. The building will be built to designs of Renzo Piano
Renzo Piano is an Italian architect. He is the recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, AIA Gold Medal, Kyoto Prize and the Sonning Prize...
and is expected to be completed by the end of the current Parliamentary term, that is not later than 2013.
The Standing Orders of the House provide for the creation of six Parliamentary Standing Committees to make parliamentary work more efficient and enhance Parliament's scrutiny functions. The Standing Committees are:
- Standing Committee on House Business
- Standing Committee on Privileges
- Standing Committee on Public Accounts
- Standing Committee on Foreign and European Affairs
- Standing Committee on Social Affairs
- Standing Committee on Consideration of Bills
There are also select committees and non-official committees.