It seems to be official as the Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat confirmed that George Vella will be taking on the reins as Malta’s next president. The message from the Prime Minister was clear, where he unequivocally stated that he is nominating George Vella, the current Foreign Affairs Minister to become Malta’s tenth president.
The president of Malta is nominated to the post by a parliamentary majority, practically saying that all is left is the final seal of the deal in George Vella’s regard. To further strengthen the claim, it is stated by the Prime Minister that George Vella has the unanimous approval of the cabinet and the Labour Party parliamentary group. The Prime Minister has also referred to George Vella as an ideal candidate to be a figure of unity for Malta and its citizens. A doctor by profession, George Vella had a long career in Maltese politics, serving as cabinet minister in two legislatures and as deputy prime minister in one.
He is also highlighted as a distinguished man of integrity, whose career was never tainted with controversy and serious allegations. He is also fit for the role due to his international experience, where he can spearhead discussions pertaining to Malta’s role in an international context.
Being congratulated by many from the Labour party, current president of Malta Marie Louise Coleiro Preca expressed her confidence that George Vella is the right person to take on the post as Malta’s next president. Another key figure who praised George Vella’s candidature is current Labour Member of European Parliament, Dr Alfred Sant, highlighting his ability, intelligence, attentiveness and tolerance. It is worth mentioning that George Vella served as Dr Sant’s deputy. Dr Sant further highlighted George Vella’s stature by stating that he took decisions in favour of Malta, being always within the public interest, without being blinded by partisan politics.
As expected, the Opposition was not all too enthusiastic about this appointment and made a statement that it will discuss George Vella’s nomination. This is especially so since the Leader of Opposition had called on the Prime Minister to look beyond partisan politics and nominate someone with nationalist ideology, such as Lawrence Gonzi, Tonio Borg and Louis Galea as potential candidates.
The Partit Demokratiku took a less of a strong stand by stating that George Vella is a capable politician, but it may have been better to select someone who is seen to be closer to the Maltese and Gozitan citizens.
George Vella will be seventy-seven years of age in the coming days and was a favourite to become president five years ago.