The Parliament Timeline
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The Tapestry Hall. Yoruno at Italian Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0]

This post is intended for use with the Maltese Democracy walking tour and smart learning activities.

The timeline of the Maltese Parliament

Maltese constitutional development has had a rather turbulent history:

  • Under the Order of St John, from 1530 to 1798, there was no democracy.
  • The French period (1798 to 1800) was marked by an armed insurrection within months of its commencement. With the approval of the King of the Two Sicilies, whom the Maltese still recognized as their lawful sovereign, the British were invited in and the French eventually had to leave.
  • Under the Treaty of Paris (1814) Malta became a British possession. Its first Constitution was granted in 1835. However, its Council of Government was by nomination.
  • In 1887, Malta acquired the first representative government through a Council which was composed of a majority of Maltese elected Members.
  • By 1900, the political situation became tense as the 1887 constitution was slowly dismantled until representative government was revoked altogether in 1903.
  • In February 1919 a newly constituted National Assembly unanimously resolved to request the British government to grant a new constitution with full political and administrative autonomy.

On 7 June 1919 riots broke out as a result of which four Maltese were killed by British troops. This crisis paved the way for the formation of a responsible government through a new constitution, granted in 1921. Thus Malta had its first government composed of Ministers who were themselves Members of and responsible to a Legislature which the Maltese people elected.

From 1921 to 1976, the Parliament of Malta met in the Tapestry Chamber of the Grandmaster’s Palace, in Valletta. [Photo: Tapestry Hall –  see featured image at the top of this page]

Parliament meeting in Armoury

New Parliament Hall

In 1976, the former armoury of the same palace was converted into a new parliament, and meetings were held there until the opening of the purpose-built Parliament House on 4 May 2015.

Sources for this text are listed at the end of this page.


/ Geofenced smart learning, AR doctoral research, UoM, 2017-20, P Lister.