George Vella

Vella in 2017
President of Malta
Assumed office
4 April 2019
Prime Minister
Preceded byMarie-Louise Coleiro Preca
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
13 March 2013 – 9 June 2017
Prime MinisterJoseph Muscat
Preceded byFrancis Zammit Dimech
Succeeded byCarmelo Abela
In office
28 October 1996 – 6 September 1998
Prime MinisterAlfred Sant
Preceded byGuido de Marco
Succeeded byGuido de Marco
Deputy Prime Minister of Malta
In office
28 October 1996 – 6 September 1998
Prime MinisterAlfred Sant
Preceded byGuido de Marco
Succeeded byGuido de Marco
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
In office
26 March 1992 – 23 May 2003
LeaderAlfred Sant
Preceded byJoseph Brincat
Succeeded byCharles Mangion
Personal details
Born (1942-04-24) 24 April 1942 (age 79)
Żejtun, Crown Colony of Malta
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Miriam Grima (m.1985)
Children3
Alma materUniversity of Malta

George William Vella KOM KCMG (born 24 April 1942) is a Maltese politician serving as the president of Malta since 2019.[1] A member of the Labour Party, Vella previously served as the minister for foreign affairs from 1996 to 1998 and again from 2013 to 2017 under two governments.[2][3]

Early life and family

Vella was born in Żejtun on 24 April 1942, where he finished his primary education.[4] Vella graduated from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in the Royal University of Malta in 1964 and became a qualified medical doctor.[4][5] He obtained a certificate in Aviation Medicine from Farnborough, UK and he has been a specialist in family medicine since 2003.[5] Between 1964 and 1966, Vella worked as a houseman in St. Luke's Hospital and soon after he applied and worked between 1966 and 1973 as a medical officer for Malta's drydocks.[4] After that, he served as the medical officer to Air Malta and as a consultant in Aviation Medicine.[4]

He is married to Miriam[6] and they together have two daughters and a son, along with seven grandchildren.[2][3][6]

Career

Labour Party

Vella joined the Labour Party and started his parliamentary career in 1976.[4] He was then elected member of parliament in January 1978, and during the 1981, 1992, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2013 general elections.[4] As a member of Parliament, he represents the 3rd and 5th Districts.[2][3]

In 1978, Vella was a substitute member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and rapporteur on maritime pollution from maritime sources at the Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE).[4] From January to May 1987, he served as Malta's permanent representative at the Council of Europe.[2]

In 1992, Vella was elected as the Labour Party deputy leader for parliamentary affairs and spokesperson on foreign affairs and served that role until 2003.[4] He served as vice chairman on the Joint EU/Malta Parliamentary Committee.[2][3] From 1995 to 1996, Vella was a member of the House Business Committee and the Foreign Affairs Parliamentary Committee.[2]

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs

The office of Vella while serving as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs
The office of Vella while serving as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs

He was appointed deputy prime minister and minister for foreign affairs and environment in October 1996[3] and again in March 2013, serving to June 2017.[2]

Vella has voiced his support for the Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, an organization which campaigns for democratic reformation of the United Nations, and the creation of a more accountable international political system.[7]

President of Malta

In early 2019, Vella was speculated to become the next president of Malta.[8] Vella was nominated for the position of the president of Malta by the governing Labour Party at the time including the opposition Nationalist Party.[9][10] The Democratic Party announced their support for Vella's nomination, but would boycott the vote to protest in favor of a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds majority to elect the president.[11] The vote in parliament took place on 2 April 2019, with the Members of Parliament voting to approve Vella's appointment as the only nominee.[12] The appointment was followed by Vella's formal swearing-in as president on 4 April 2019, a date on which every previous Maltese President since 1989 was inaugurated.[13][14]

Honours

National honours

Foreign honours

See also

References

  1. ^ Scicluna, Luke (2 April 2019). "George Vella approved as Malta's next President". Times of Malta. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-06. Retrieved 2015-03-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b c d e "Minister of Foreign Affairs - Maltese Consulate".
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Dr.GEORGE W.VELLA MD.,Cert. GAM (UK), KOM., KCMG" (PDF). newsbook.com.mt.
  5. ^ a b "George Vella Biography". www.gov.mt.
  6. ^ a b "Who is Dr George Vella? - TVM News". TVM English. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  7. ^ "Supporters". Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  8. ^ "Who is George Vella? This Maltese politician may be Malta's next President". www.guidememalta.com. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  9. ^ Amaira, Ruth (7 March 2019). "PN Parliamentary Group to vote in favor of nomination of George Vella for President". TVM News. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Maltese parliament approves George Vella as president - Xinhua | English.news.cn". www.xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  11. ^ "PD to boycott parliamentary debate on presidential nomination". Times of Malta. 2 April 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  12. ^ "MPs to vote on George Vella for president on April 2". Times of Malta. 13 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  13. ^ Scicluna, Christopher (4 April 2019). "President Vella delivers unifying address after swearing-in". Times of Malta. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Watch - Updated: George Vella sworn in as Malta's 10th President of the Republic - The Malta Independent". www.independent.com.mt. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
Party political offices Preceded byJoseph Brincat Deputy Leader of the Labour Party1992–2003 Succeeded byCharles Mangion Political offices Preceded byGuido de Marco Deputy Prime Minister of Malta1996–1998 Succeeded byGuido de Marco Preceded byGuido de Marco Minister of Foreign Affairs1996–1998 Succeeded byGuido de Marco Preceded by??? Minister for the Environment1996–1998 Succeeded byFrancis Zammit Dimech Preceded byFrancis Zammit Dimech Minister of Foreign Affairs2013–2017 Succeeded byCarmelo Abela Preceded byMarie-Louise Coleiro Preca President of Malta2019–present Incumbent