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Malta's parliament is now the largest in Europe

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eventi 2A record 79 MPs make the local legislature a monster on a per capita basis.

Malta’s parliament will be crammed with a record 79 MPs after the electoral process drew to a close on Tuesday. It means the country has the biggest number of parliamentarians per capita of any EU member state. 

The last casual election for a number of opposition seats was held on Tuesday, and the gender quota mechanism was applied for the first time. The latter added six women on both sides of the House. 

The mechanism is intended to increase female representation in parliament by giving space to a maximum of 12 additional members if, following the election, there are not at least four women out of every 10 members elected. There are now 22 women in the House.

The bloating of government and opposition ranks will create some logistical issues since the chamber of the Renzo Piano parliament building does not have enough seats. Speaker Anġlu Farrugia said additional rows will have to be added before the House reconvenes on May 7.

The 79-member House means there is a member of parliament for every 6,532 citizens.In 2020, Malta already had the largest parliament per capita in the EU, with the latest group of elected MPs confirming that ranking for the second term in a row. 

Malta’s House of Representatives now has 19 more members than the second-largest per capita parliament in the EU. The 60-strong parliament in Luxembourg has a representative for every 10,578 citizens. Luxembourg has a population only marginally larger than Malta’s – 634,730.

The Estonian parliament has a representative for every 13,117 citizens. It has a total of 101 members representing 1.3 million people. The parliament with the least number of members from across the EU member states sits in Cyprus, with just 56 deputies.These represent around 896,000 people at a rate of 16,000 citizens to each MP.

Ireland comes next with 300 members for just over five million people. The ratio there is one MP per 16,688.

Latvia and Lithuania have 100 and 141 members respectively. This gives Latvians a member of parliament per 18,921 citizens and one per 19,828 for the Lithuanians.

Germany has the largest number of sitting members with 736 representing a population of over 83 million people. The ratio per capita there is one MP for every 112,982 citizens.

Italy, with 630 members, has a representative for every 940,926 citizens while Spain's 134,106 citizens-per-MP ratio makes it the nation with the lowest per capita representation in parliament compared to their EU counterparts.

France and the Netherlands are each set at around 116,500 to every one of their members in their respective House of Representatives.


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