The Maltese parliament will not have a majority for the first time since it was set up by the previous government, and it is expected to be dominated by a smaller group of pro-European parties.
In a move that will be seen as a victory for the EU, Maltese Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who came to power last year, said he will seek a one-year extension to the current parliamentary term.
The government said that it will be seeking to maintain the bloc’s position as the world’s largest trading nation, but the government’s goal will be to get Malta’s constitutional framework amended to ensure that Malta’s position on EU membership will be maintained.
“I would like to think that the parliament can continue to be a forum for the debate and discussion of issues of importance for the citizens of Malta, and for all Malta,” Tusk said on Friday.
“And in this respect, it is essential that the Maltese Parliament is not compromised by the EU.
The EU is not only the largest economic bloc in the world, but it is also the largest political bloc in Europe.”
The EU is the world-wide trade and investment body that is based in Brussels, and is responsible for the creation and protection of its common external borders and policies.
The Maltese government, however, has expressed concerns that EU countries are not making enough progress on reforms in the country and that they are using the country as a platform for EU trade negotiations.
Tusk, speaking at a summit with leaders of 28 EU states and representatives of the bloc, said that a number of reforms are needed to ensure Malta’s sovereignty, democracy and the rule of law.
“What we need to do is to get more progress on these reforms and to give more of a say to the people of Malta in their own government, in the way of the way that the legislative procedure is carried out and the way in which they are represented,” Tush said.
He said that while there is “a lot to do”, the government is determined to get reforms implemented in a way that is fair and democratic for all Maltese.
The EU, which has been trying to reach a compromise on reforms with the Maltais, has so far been unable to do so because of its own political crisis in the Malta.
The European Commission said on Wednesday that it was “very concerned” that the government was not seeking a majority in parliament, with a majority of MPs not wanting to be part of any coalition government.
Tush said that the bloc would not be “unable” to achieve a majority and that “we will work to get the parliament to be fully representative of the people”.
The government will also seek to change the rules governing the constitution, Tush told journalists.
The changes will be debated in parliament next week and the Maltos have already submitted a draft bill to parliament that will replace Article 155 of the constitution that prohibits MPs from standing as candidates for office.
The amendment is expected within weeks.