Constitutional amendments including a Bill for the appointment of the president to require the approval of two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives, were moved in parliament on Wednesday.

Other Bills involve changes to the method to appointment and removal of the members of the judiciary, changes in the role of the Commission for the Administration of Justice and strengthening of the Office of the Ombudsman.

The motions were moved for first reading by Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis and unanimously approved.

The first reading stage is a formality where the House authorises the publication of the Bills. The substantive debate will be held on second reading.

The drafting of the Bills had followed recommendations of the Council of Europe's Venice Commission on the rule of law.

The justice minister also tabled motions on the appointment of permanent secretaries and persons of trust.

The Venice Commission recently welcomed the government’s efforts to implement its recommendations meant to decentralise power, especially from the Office of the Prime Minister.

The commission had also called for more checks and balances in order to safeguard Malta’s independent institutions.



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