The Malta Independent 22 August 2019, Thursday

Parliament approves George Vella’s appointment as next President of Malta

Giulia Magri Tuesday, 2 April 2019, 18:46 Last update: about 6 months ago

Parliament has approved George Vella as Malta's next President, with all those present voting in favour of his appointment.

Earlier in the day, the Partit Demokratiku had said that they would be boycotting the sitting, which they did. The PL and PN voted in favour of Vella’s appointment.

On incoming President George Vella, Prime Minister Muscat said that Vella had guided him into politics, and that he believed in him at the beginning of his political career.

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 "That is not one of the reasons why I nominated him for the post of President; Vella is a respectable and credible person. He is respected on both a local and international scale."

Muscat said that Vella is a person who, earlier on in his life, had the opportunity for political power, which he refused, so that he could continue on his medical profession.

"He always told me how much he loved to spend time with clients, talking to them, which he missed greatly when he was no longer at his clinic." He said that Vella is honest in his opinions and is not afraid to be frank and does not shy away from issues which are close to his heart.

Opposition leader Adrian Delia said that the government did not take on the Opposition's suggestions to nominate somebody from outside the Labour Party for the post of President, at a time when national unity was needed.

Delia stressed that whilst the Opposition would be voting in favour of Vella's nomination, the party will be moving a constitutional amendment in the coming days to ensure that Presidents could only be appointed or removed with the support of a two-thirds majority vote.

Parliament also approved a motion recognising the work of President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, with both the government and opposition praising her.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that over the past five years, President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca has given her all to the Maltese community.

The Prime Minister was addressing Parliament, and said that Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca is an honest person who has given a voice, not just to the most vulnerable and marginalised in society, but also to migrants.

"During years of intense international debate, she was one of the people who was on the front lines for migrants."

He said that the President would dedicate hours, listening to what the children and youths had to say, and he recalled how she would tell the Prime Minister about the issues and challenges these children faced. 

He praised her for her outstanding work through the Foundation of Social Wellbeing. "There were times when we did not see eye to eye on certain issues, but I always appreciated her strong opinions."

Opposition leader Adrian Delia also praised and thanked President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca for representing the country as a whole, and not representing a political party.

"The role of the President is to represent the values and aspirations of the country, which brings with it tremendous pressure on the individual taking that position."

He said that the President has always been there to help the young, vulnerable and marginalised, even when she was working in politics.

"Whenever we would meet, she would listen and make you feel like you are the most important person; she has this effect on everyone. She would give you her time without any conditions. Most importantly she would look at an individual as whole human being."

 

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