Malta has a new Prime Minister: Dr Robert Abela, who today was sworn in as the Head of Government at the Palace in Valletta. He was sworn in as Prime Minister by President George Vella, who earlier had received a letter of resignation from Joseph Muscat.
In his first comments to Television Malta, Prime Minister Abela said he is ready to serve and to work hard so that the Government continues to improve the quality of life of all Maltese and Gozitans.
Following the ceremony at the Palace, the new Prime Minister walked to the Castille Auberge where he was again greeted by a crowd outside the Prime Minister’s Office.
At the age of 42, Robert Abela took the oath as Prime Minister in the middle of the thirteenth legislature since Independence.
He is the fourteenth politician to occupy the post of Head of Government since the Constitution of the Responsible Government of 1921 and the eight Prime Minister since Independence.
Dr Abela also took the oath of loyalty towards the Constitution. Chief Justice Joseph Azzopardi, the State Attorney Victoria Buttigieg and the Public Service Head Mario Cutajar were among the dignitaries present for the ceremony.
Accompanied by his wife Lydia and daughter Georgia May, the swearing-in ceremony was also attended by relatives of the new Prime Minister, including his father President Emeritus George Abela, his mother Margaret and sister Maria. Also present for the ceremony were former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his wife Michelle, while high officials of the Labour Party administration and the Labour parliamentary group followed the ceremony in another hall.
President George Vella presented Dr Abela with the Companion of Honour of the National Order of Merit. The new Prime Minister also followed tradition by saluting from the balcony the crowd that gathered outside the Presidential Palace.
Prime Minister Abela was sworn in following last weekend’s election result for a new leader of the Labour Party, during which Dr Abela won the greatest amount of votes – 2,544 more than the other candidate Chris Fearne.