Anglu Farrugia kisses the cross as he is sworn in as Speaker of Maltese Parliament. -Collected
Anglu Farrugia has been elected Speaker of the House of Representatives of Malta for an unprecedented third time, endorsed only by the government side of parliament.
Farrugia was first elected Speaker of the House in 2013, succeeding Michael Frendo, and his position was reconfirmed in 2017. On Saturday, Labour MPs backed his nomination for the 14th legislature.
Electing a Speaker only requires a simple majority vote, meaning the government did not require the opposition's backing to push its nominee through.
PN MP and ex-party whip David Agius was confirmed as Deputy Speaker, garnering a unanimous vote. In his first address to parliament, Farrugia promised he would fulfil his constitutional role as is expected of him. He also thanked his late parents for valuing “correctness” during his upbringing.
He urged new MPs to carry out their work without fear, but to avoid personal attacks. Farrugia is the 15th Speaker since Malta's first legislature, of 1962-1966.
The Opposition has long said it disagreed with Farrugia's nomination, with PN's leader Bernard Grech on Friday urging the Prime Minister to reach a compromise over the nomination.The party has not spelt out its objections to Farrugia's nomination, but it had strongly criticised him in November over his handling of proceedings before the standards committee, which he chaired.