Malta, national Popular or citizen-initiated referendum [PCR] - Referendum

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizen-initiated referendum [PCR]
Location
Malta
Political level
national
Local Name:
Referendum
Normative Level:
statutory
Legally Binding:
yes
Legally Defined:

3.(1) Persons entitled to vote in a referendum under this Act will be called upon to declare:
(a) whether they approve proposals set out in a resolution passed for that purpose by the House and published in the Gazette; or
(b) whether they agree that a provision of law should be abrogated in accordance with the provisions of Part V of this Act,as the case may be.
(2) Persons entitled to vote in a referendum under the Constitution will be called upon to declare whether they approve a bill for an Act of Parliament submitted to them for the purposes of article 66(3) of the Constitution.

13. (1) Any provision of any enactment, whether enacted before or after the coming into force of this Part, and not being an enactment listed in subarticle (2), shall have effect and continue to have effect subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act. (..)

14. (1) Any number of persons registered as voters for the election of members of the House of Representatives, being not less than ten per cent of the total number of persons registered as voters as appear in the revised Electoral Register last published before the delivery of the declaration in accordance with subarticle (2), may by signing a declaration in the form set out in the First Schedule demand that the question whether one or more provisions of an enactment to which this Part applies, shall not continue in force, shall be put to those entitled to vote in a referendum under this Act.
(2) The declaration made in accordance with subarticle (1) shall be delivered to the Electoral Commission which shall ascertain whether the number of voters required in accordance with subarticle (1) has signed the declaration.
(3) The Electoral Commission shall within fifteen days from the delivery of the declarations referred to in subarticle (1) ascertain the number of persons, qualified in accordance with subarticle (1), who have signed the declarations, and shall within the said period of fifteen days deposit the said declarations by means of a note in the registry of the Constitutional Court, stating in the note the number of valid signatures appearing on the declaration, as well as the number of invalid signatures and the reason for such invalidity, together with a statement indicating whether the number of persons required in accordance with subarticle (1) has signed the declaration.
(4) The determination by the Electoral Commission of the number of persons who have validly signed the declaration shall be final and conclusive.
(5) The Constitutional Court shall, through the Registrar not later than two days after the deposit referred to in subarticle (3), cause a notice to be published in the Gazette stating the date when the declaration has been delivered in the Registry of the said court, the provisions of the enactments upon the continuance in force which the question is demanded to be put to a referendum under this Part, and the number of persons as stated by the Electoral Commission to have validly signed the declaration.

19. (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Part, a referendum under this Part shall not be held if -
(a) the provision upon the repeal of which a referendum was to be held has, before the date fixed for polling, been amended or repealed; or
(b) between the handing of the copy of the decision of the Constitutional Court and the date fixed for polling, Parliament is dissolved.
(2) Where a referendum is not to be held in accordance with subarticle (1) the President of Malta shall issue a Proclamation accordingly.

20. (1) Where the majority of voters, voting in a referendum under this Part, approve the proposal regarding the provision of the enactment the repeal of which is requested, the said provision shall no longer have effect and the President of Malta shall issue a Proclamation accordingly:
Provided that such proposal shall be deemed not to have been approved if less than fifty per cent of those entitled to vote in the referendum plus one, will have cast their vote.
(2) Where the majority of voters have not approved a proposal as is referred to in subarticle (1), the relative provision of the enactment shall continue to have effect, and no new declaration as provided in article 14 with respect to the same provision may be made before the lapse of two years from the publication of the result of the referendum.

References: REFERENDA ACT, (1973), (accessed August 17, 2018)

Subject Matter:

To call a referendum on proposals or resolutions, laws passed by the House

Actors

Author:
Parliament
Initiator:
Citizens
Decision maker:
Electorate

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
10% of electorate
Available Time:
No time period found; but not before 2 years after another decision by popular vote
Turnout Quorum:
50%+1 of the electorate
Approval Quorum:
Majority
Geographical Quorum:
Excluded Issues:

Art. 13 (2) The provisions of this Part of this Act shall not apply to this article and to the following enactments:
(a) the Constitution and any regulation made under any
provision thereof;
(b) the European Convention Act;
(c) any law providing for the matters referred to in article 56(8)(a), (b) or (c) of the Constitution;
(d) the Interpretation Act;
(e) the General Elections Act;
(f) any fiscal legislation;
(g) any legislation giving effect to any treaty obligation undertaken by Malta; and
(h) save as provided in article 36A of the Local Councils Act, any bye-law made by any local council under the said Act.

Other Formal Requirements:

15. (1) The declaration referred to in article 14 shall, together with the signature of each voter, show the identity card number of the voter signing it, his address and the electoral district wherein he is registered as a voter.
(2) The proposers of the referendum, being not less than five and not more than ten, shall sign the declaration before all other persons indicating that they are signing the same as proposers.
(3) The Electoral Commission shall have a right to ascertain that the persons actually appearing as signatories of the declaration have in fact signed it, and any signature which does not result to have been made by the person appearing to have made it shall be ignored by the Electoral Commission.

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
Specify Collection Mode:
Wording Of Ballot Question:

4. (..)
(2) The question or questions to be put to those entitled to vote shall be so framed that they can be answered with either yes or no; and the ballot paper on which the vote is to be recorded shall be in such form that each such question may be so answered.
(3) The space in the ballot paper in which a vote is to be recorded shall have a coloured border: the border of the space in which an affirmative vote is to be recorded shall be coloured in one particular colour, and the border of the space in which a negative vote is to be recorded shall be coloured in a different colour.
(4) Where voters are asked to vote on more than one question in the same referendum, the parts of the ballot paper referring to each separate question shall be printed in a colour different from that in which the other parts of the ballot paper are printed.
(5) The form of the ballot paper shall be that approved by the Electoral Commission.

Interaction With Authorities:
Supervision And Support:

16. (1) Any person registered as a voter for the election of members of the House of Representatives and the Attorney General on behalf of the Government may, within three months from the publication of the notice referred to in article 14, file an application in the registry of the Constitutional Court, requesting the said court to declare that the referendum should not take place on the grounds that -
(a) the number of persons stated by the Electoral Commission to have validly signed the declaration is less than that established in article 14(1); or
(b) the provision of the enactment referred to in the declaration is one to which the provisions of this Part of this Act do not apply in accordance with article 13(2); or
(c) were the provisions of the enactment referred to in the declaration not to continue to apply, the law would be incompatible with any of the provisions of the Constitution or of the European Convention Act; or
(d) the time fixed in article 20(2) before the declarations requesting the referendum may be made had not elapsed when the declarations were filed with the Electoral Commission.
(2) No person making an application in accordance with subarticle (1) shall be required to show any personal interest in support of his action.
(3) Any application filed in accordance with subarticle (2), shall be served on -
(a) the Prime Minister;
(b) the Leader of the Opposition;
(c) the proposers of the referendum; and
(d) any other person making an application in accordance with subarticle (1).
(4) Every person served with an application in accordance with subarticle (3) shall have a right to file a reply in the registry of the Constitutional Court within one month from service, and such replies shall be served on the persons referred to in subarticle (3)(a) to (d) within ten days of filing.(..)

Transparency And Finance:

Practice

Archive:
Remarks: