Dr. George Abela was
elected President of the Republic of Malta on the 4th April 2009 following
a Parliamentary resolution which unanimously approved his nomination as
the eighth President of Malta. His nomination marks a historical
development in the constitutional history of our Island since, for the
first time after thirty six years, the President was elected by the
unanimous approval of both political parties represented in Parliament.
It is also the first time that the Government of the day nominated a
President with different political leanings.
Dr. Abela was born in Qormi
on the 22nd April 1948 and is the son of a registered port worker.
He was educated at the Lyceum and the University of Malta where he first
obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, Maltese and History and
later on his Law Degree. He furthered his studies in European Law
and obtained his Magister Iuris Degree in 1995. He also holds a
Diploma to practice as a lawyer before the Ecclesiastical Tribunals in
marriage annulment cases.
Dr. Abela worked in private
practice for thirty-three years and has been a practicing lawyer
specialising in Civil, Commercial and Industrial Law. He acted for
twenty five years as the legal consultant of the General Workers' Union
and he represented the workers' interests, affiliated in four separate
trade unions, in the negotiations concerning the Air Malta rescue plan in
2002. He also represented port workers in the port reform of June
2007 which reform has been hailed by the European Commission as a model in
social dialogue to be followed by other member states. He also
served as legal advisor to the Medical Association of Malta and other
For many years, Dr. Abela
has been deeply involved in the administration of sports in Malta,
particularly in football. He first served as a treasurer in his
village football club, Qormi F.C., and later on as its President. In
1982, after serving as Vice-President, he was elected to the post of
President of the Malta Football Association, which position he held for
ten years. During his presidency, the local football association
witnessed major changes at its administrative and technical level.
Large infrastructural investments were made in the resurfacing of the turf
pitch at the National Stadium Ta’ Qali, which became wholly managed for
the first time by the football association; new training grounds with turf
pitches were built; floodlights were installed both at the National
Stadium and in the adjoining training areas; a physiotherapy clinic and a
fully equipped gymnasium were also opened. Foreign full time
coaches, assisted by top Maltese coaches, were engaged to take charge of
the National teams and courses in coaching and refereeing were held under
the auspices of the European and international football bodies. The
players of the National team were engaged for the first time on a
full-time professional basis and the international matches of the Maltese
team started to attract the wide support of the Maltese sporting public
once again. Football nurseries all over the island wee inaugurated.
Dr. Abela represented the local Association in many committees of UEFA.
He also sat as an arbitrator in the Court of Arbitration for Sport in
Furthermore, Dr. Abela was also involved in the Kerygma Movement where he
acted for some years as Chairman for the Campaign – Solidarity Through
Sports in Aid of Philantropic Institutions.
In 1992, after ten years in
the top echelons of the Maltese football, Dr. Abela was elected as Deputy
Leader of the Malta Labour Party in charge of Party Affairs. In
1996, the Malta labour party won the general election by its first ever
greatest majority of votes. Subsequently, he was appointed as the
legal consultant to the Prime Minister and invited to attend cabinet
Dr. George Abela served for
a number of years as Director of the Central Bank of Malta and as
Executive Director for the Bank of Valletta p.l.c. He was also a
member of the Electoral Commission responsible for the running of the
general elections in 1987. He actively participated in the Malta E.U.
Steering and Action Committee (MEUSAC) in pre-accession negotiations for
membership in the European Union, where he formed part of the core group
focusing on the legal and social aspects of membership. After
membership, he sat again on MEUSAC as the labour Party representative.
Dr. Abela is married to
Margaret nee Cauchi and they have two children, Robert and Maria.