The Malta Independent 21 May 2019, Tuesday

Updated - It’s official: George Vella to be nominated President; oldest Head of State to take office

Tuesday, 5 March 2019, 12:52 Last update: about 4 months ago

It’s official: George Vella is to be nominated President, the Prime Minister announced today.

In a tweet, Muscat said that following constitutional consultations, he decided to submit Vella's nomination as president.

Vella will be the 10th President of the Republic.

The government, through the Department of Information, said that Vella's nomination was approved unanimously by the Cabinet today.

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Earlier this year, The Malta Independent had reported that Vella was the most likely candidate for the post.

 

Vella, a former Foreign Minister and a deputy leader of the Labour Party, will replace outgoing Marie Louise Coleiro Preca who has held the office for the last five years.

Her term expires on 4 April, the day when Vella is to be sworn in. 

Muscat, in another tweet, thanked Coleiro Preca for her "sterling work", saying she will continue her contribution to society through the Foundation for Social Wellbeing.

 

 

In a statement, the government thanked Coleiro Preca for her presidency, which she took close to the people.

Coleiro Preca, in a tweet, said that Vella is the right person to serve as Malta's next President.

 

 

Vella will be breaking a 25-year legal hold on the presidency, as the last five presidents all came from the legal profession: four lawyers Ugo Mifsud Bonnici, who was President between 1994 and 1999, Guido de Marco between 1999 and 2004, Eddie Fenech Adami between 2004 and 2009 and George Abela between 2009 and 2014; and a notary public, Coleiro Preca, who was appointed in 2014.

He will also be the oldest of all presidents on the day of his appointment.

A medical doctor by profession, Vella will be 76 years and 345 days old when he will be sworn in. Censu Tabone, the oldest president and the only other medical doctor to hold the post, was 76 years and six days old when he took over in 1989.

George Vella Official Announcement from The Malta Independent on Vimeo.

Born in Zejtun on 24 April, 1942 - he will turn 77 soon after he takes office - Vella studied at De La Salle College and the Royal University of Malta, from where he graduated as a doctor in 1964.

He contested the election for the first time in 1976 and was elected two years later to fill the seat vacated by Emanuel Attard Bezzina.

He was elected again in 1981, 1992 and 1996 election, following which he was appointed deputy leader of the Labour Party and Foreign Affairs Minister. He was re-elected in 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2013, following which he served as Foreign Minister.

Vella is married to Miriam nee Grima and they have three children and seven grandchildren.

The PN had proposed three Nationalist stalwarts for the post, Lawrence Gonzi, Tonio Borg and Louis Galea.

 

 

 

 


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