Officially: Repubblika TaMalta; Republic of Malta.
Seat of government: Valletta.
Structure: The parliament (Kamra tad-Deputati) is elected in multi-member geographical constituencies with limited modification for proportionality, and chooses the prime minister, who heads the government, as well as the president.
Governing party: Partit Laburista.
Head of government: Joseph Muscat, prime minister.
Chief opposition party: Partit Nazzjonalista, led by Simon Bisuttil.
Recent history: The PN won elections in 1998, 2003, and 2008. The 2008 election, with 93% turnout, yielded a plurality of one half percent for the PN, and a one-seat advantage in parliament; Lawrence Gonzi (2004-13) continued as prime minister. The PL scored a decisive win in 2013 elections.
FH: 1-1, free. Econ: 8.39 (16), full democracy.
Updated: 2014 October 31.