The Executive

ARTICLE 78 President
(1) The executive authority of Malta is vested in the President.

(2) The executive authority of Malta shall be exercised by the President, either directly or through officers subordinate to him, in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

(3) Nothing in this section shall prevent Parliament from conferring functions on persons or authorities other than the President.

ARTICLE 79 Cabinet
(1) There shall be a Cabinet for Malta which shall consist of the Prime Minister and such number of other Ministers as may be appointed in accordance with section 80 of this Constitution.

(2) The Cabinet shall have the general direction and control of the Government of Malta and shall be collectively responsible therefor to Parliament.

ARTICLE 80 Appointment of Prime Minister
Wherever there shall be occasion for the appointment of a Prime Minister, the President shall appoint as Prime Minister the member of the House of Representatives who, in his judgment, is best able to command the support of a majority of the members of that House and shall, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint the other Ministers from among the members of the House of Representatives:

Provided that if occasion arises for making an appointment to the office of Prime Minister or any other Minister while Parliament is dissolved, a person who was a member of the House of Representatives immediately before the dissolution may be appointed as Prime Minister or any other Minister as if, in each case, such person were still a member of the House of Representatives, but any person so appointed shall vacate office at the beginning of the next session of Parliament if he is not then a member thereof.

ARTICLE 81 Vote of No Confidence
(1) If the House of Representatives passes a resolution, supported by the votes of a majority of all the members thereof, that it has no confidence in the Government, the President may remove the Prime Minister from office:
Provided that the President shall not do so unless three days have elapsed and he has decided not to dissolve Parliament under section 76 of this Constitution.

(2) The office of Prime Minister shall also become vacant --
  1. when, after any dissolution of parliament, the Prime Minister is informed by the President that the President is about to re-appoint him as Prime Minister or to appoint another person as Prime Minister:
  2. if he ceases to be a member of the House of Representatives otherwise than by a dissolution of Parliament: or
  3. if, under the provisions of subsection (2) of section 55 of this Constitution, he is required to cease to perform his functions as a member of the House of Representatives.
(3) The office of a Minister, other than the office of Prime Minister, shall become vacant --
  1. upon the appointment or re-appointment of any person to the office of Prime Minister;
  2. if his appointment to his office is revoked by the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister;
  3. if he ceases to be a member of the House of Representatives otherwise than by a dissolution of Parliament or
  4. if, under the provisions of subsection (2) of section 55 of this Constitution, he is required to cease to perform his functions as a member of the House of Representatives.
ARTICLE 82 Empowering Ministers
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, may, by directions in writing, assign to the Prime Minister or any other Minister responsibility for any business of the Government of Malta including the administration of any department of government.

(2) Nothing in this section shall empower the President to confer on any Minister authority to exercise any power or to discharge any duty that is conferred or imposed by this Constitution or any other law on any person or authority other than that Minister.

ARTICLE 83 Absence of Prime Minister
(1) Whenever the Prime Minister is absent from Malta or on vacation, or is unable by reason of illness to perform the functions of his office, the President may authorise any other member of the Cabinet to perform those functions (other than the functions conferred by this section) and that member may perform those functions until his authority is revoked by the President.

(2) The powers of the President under this section shall be exercised by him in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister:
Provided that if the President considers that it is impracticable to obtain the advice of the Prime Minister owing to his absence or illness he may exercise those powers without that advice.

ARTICLE 84 Inability of Ministers
(1) Whenever a Minister other than the Prime Minister is unable, by reason of his illness or absence from Malta, to perform the functions of his office, the President may appoint another member of the House of Representatives to be a temporary Minister:
Provided that if occasion arises for making an appointment while Parliament is dissolved, a person who, immediately before the dissolution, was a member of the House of Representatives may be appointed as a temporary Minister as if he were still a member of that House, but any person so appointed shall vacate office at the beginning of the next session of Parliament if he is not then a member thereof.

(2) Subject to the provisions of section 81 of this Constitution, a temporary Minister shall hold office until he is notified by the President that the Minister on account of whose inability to perform the functions of his office he was appointed is again able to perform those functions or until that Minister vacates his office.

(3) The powers of the President under this section shall be exercised by him in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.

ARTICLE 85 Advice of Cabinet
(1) In the exercise of his functions the President shall act in
accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or a Minister acting under the general authority of the Cabinet except in cases where he is required by this Constitution or any other law to act in accordance with the advice of any person or authority other than the Cabinet:
Provided that the President shall act in accordance with his own deliberate judgment in the performance of the following functions --
  1. in the exercise of the powers relating to the dissolution of Parliament conferred upon him by the proviso to subsection (5) of section 76 of this Constitution;
  2. in the exercise of the power to appoint the Prime Minister or remove the Prime Minister from office conferred upon him by section 80 and subsection (1) of section 81 of this Constitution;
  3. in the exercise of the powers conferred upon him by section 83 of this Constitution (which relates to the performance of the functions of the Prime Minister during absence, vacation or illness) in the circumstances described in the proviso to subsection (2) of that section;
  4. in the exercise of the power to appoint the Leader of the Opposition and to revoke any such appointment conferred upon him by section 90 of this Constitution; and
  5. in signifying his approval for the purposes of subsection (4) of section 110 of this Constitution of an appointment to an office on his personal staff.
(2) Where by this Constitution the President is required to act in accordance with the advice of any person or authority, the question whether he has in any case received, or acted in accordance with, such advice shall not be enquired into in any court.

(3) The reference in subsection (1) of this section to the functions of the President shall be construed as a reference to his powers and duties in the exercise of the executive authority of Malta and to any other powers and duties conferred or imposed on him as President by or under this Constitution or any other law.

ARTICLE 86 Government by Recommendation

(1) Where by this Constitution the Prime Minister is required to exercise any function on the recommendation of any person or authority he shall exercise that function in accordance with such recommendation.
Provided that --
  1. before he acts in accordance therewith he may once refer that recommendation back for reconsideration by the person or authority concerned; and
  2. if that person or authority, having reconsidered the original recommendation under the preceding paragraph, substitutes thereof a different recommendation, the provisions of this subsection shall apply to that different recommendation as they apply to the original recommendation.
(2) Where by this Constitution the Prime Minister is required to perform any function after consultation with any person or authority, he shall not be obliged to perform that function in accordance with the advice of that person or authority.

(3) Where by this Constitution the Prime Minister is required to perform any function in accordance with the recommendation of, or after consultation with, any person or authority, the question whether he has in any case received, or acted in
accordance with such recommendation or whether he has consulted with such person or authority shall not be enquired into in any court.

ARTICLE 87 Information of President
The Prime Minister shall keep the President fully informed concerning the general conduct of the Government of Malta and shall furnish the President with such information as he may request with respect to any particular matter relating to the Government of Malta.

ARTICLE 88 Parliamentary Secretaries
(1) The President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, may appoint Parliamentary Secretaries from among the members of the House of Representatives to assist Ministers in the performance of their duties;
Provided that if occasion arises for making an appointment while Parliament is dissolved, a person who immediately before the dissolution was a member of the House of Representatives may be appointed as a Parliamentary Secretary as if he were still a member of that House, but any person so appointed shall vacate office at the beginning of the next session of Parliament if he is not then a member thereof.

(2) The provisions of subsection (3) of section 81 of this Constitution shall apply to Parliamentary Secretaries as they apply to Ministers.

ARTICLE 89 Oath of Ministers
A Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary shall not enter upon the duties of his office unless he has taken and subscribed the oath of allegiance and the oath of office set out in the Third and in the Second Schedule to this Constitution.

ARTICLE 90 Leader of the Opposition
(1) There shall be a Leader of the Opposition who shall be appointed by the President.
(2) Whenever there shall be occasion for the appointment of a Leader of the Opposition, the President shall appoint --
  1. if there is one opposition party whose numerical strength in the House of Representatives is greater than the strength of any other opposition party, the member of the House of Representatives who is the Leader of that party; or
  2. if, by reason of an equality in the numerical strength of the opposition parties in the House or by reason that there is no opposition party, no person is qualified for appointment under paragraph (a) of this subsection, the member of the House who, in the judgement of the President, commands the support of the largest single group of members of the House in opposition to the Government who are prepared to support one leader.
(3) The office of Leader of the Opposition shall become vacant --
  1. if after any dissolution of Parliament, he is informed by the President that the President is about to appoint another person as Leader of the Opposition;
  2. if he ceases to be a member of the House of Representatives otherwise than by a dissolution of Parliament;
  3. if, under the provisions of subsection (2) of section 55 of this Constitution, he is required to cease to perform his functions as a member of the House of Representatives; or
  4. if his appointment is revoked under the provisions of subsection (4) of this section.
(4) If, in the judgment of the President, a member of the House of Representatives other than the Leader of the Opposition, has become the Leader in the House of the opposition party having the greatest numerical strength in the House or, as the case may be, the Leader of the Opposition has ceased to command the support of the largest single group of members in opposition to the Government, the President shall revoke the appointment of the Leader of the Opposition.

(5) Subsection (4) of this section shall not have effect while Parliament is dissolved.

ARTICLE 91 Attorney General

(1) There shall be an Attorney General whose office shall be a public office and who shall be appointed by the President acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.

(2) A person shall not be qualified to hold office as Attorney General unless he is qualified for appointment as a judge of the Superior Courts.

(3) In the exercise of his powers to institute, undertake and discontinue criminal proceedings and of any other powers conferred on him by any law in terms which authorise him to exercise that power in his individual judgment the Attorney General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

(4) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5) of this section, the Attorney General shall vacate his office when he attains the age of sixty years.

(5) Subsections (2) and (3) of section 97 of this Constitution shall apply to the Attorney General.

ARTICLE 92 [Departmental Control]

(1) Where any Minister has been charged with responsibility for any department of government, he shall exercise general direction and control over that department; and, subject to such direction and control, the department may be under the supervision of a Permanent Secretary:

Provided that two or more departments of government may be placed under the supervision of one Permanent Secretary.

(2) The Prime Minister shall be responsible for assigning departments of government to Permanent Secretary.

(3) Power to appoint public officers to hold or act in the office of Permanent Secretary and to remove from office persons holding or acting in such office shall vest in the President acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister given after the Prime Minister has consulted with the Public Service Commission.

(4) Heads of departments of government other than those whose manner of appointment is specifically provided for in this Constitution shall be appointed from amongst senior public officers by the Prime Minister acting after consultation with the Public Service Commission.

ARTICLE 93 Presidential Powers

(1) The President shall have power to --
  1. grant to any person concerned in or convicted of any offence a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions;
  2. grant to any person a respite, either indefinite or for a specified period, of the execution of any sentence passed on that person for any offence;
  3. substitute a less severe form of punishment for any punishment imposed on any person for any offence; or
  4. remit the whole or part of any sentence passed on any person for an offence or for any penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to the State on account of any offence.
(2)
  1. Where any person has been sentenced to death by any court in Malta, the President shall cause a written report of the case from the trial judge, or, in the case of a court-martial the person presiding, and such other information derived from the record of the case or elsewhere as the President may require, to be sent to the Minister responsible for justice.
  2. The said Minister shall send such written report and information (if any) to the Cabinet, and the Cabinet shall advice the President whether he should grant the offender a pardon or respite in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by this section.
ARTICLE 94 Secretary of Cabinet

(1) There shall be a Secretary to the cabinet who shall be a public officer designated in that behalf by the Prime Minister.

(2) The Secretary to the Cabinet shall be responsible, in accordance with such instructions as may be given to him by the Prime Minister for arranging the business for, and keeping the minutes of, the meetings of the Cabinet and for conveying the decisions of the Cabinet to the appropriate person or authority, and shall have such other functions as the Prime Minister may from time to time direct.