Following Dom Mintoff's resignation after thirteen years as Malta's prime minister, his chosen successor, Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici, was sworn in as the island republic's new premier on December 23.
1. GV INTERIOR Members of Parliament banging desks for Prime Minister Mintoff 0.04
2. CU Prime Minister Dom Mintoff speaking to Parliament 0.22
3. CU Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici being signed in as new prime minister 0.34
4. CU Bonnici speaking, taking oath of office, kisses cross, signs oath (3 shots) 1.02
5. CU Bonnici embraces Mintoff, members applaud 1.11
6. GVs Bonnici and Mintoff leave Parliament, Bonnici shakes hands with members (2 shots) 1.30
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Background: VALLETTA, MALTA
Following Dom Mintoff's resignation after thirteen years as Malta's prime minister, his chosen successor, Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici, was sworn in as the island republic's new premier on December 23. Mifsud Bonnici, a 52-year-old bachelor, was education minister until his appointment as prime minister; two years ago, he had been nominated as leader-designate of the ruling Malta Labour Party. In his resignation speech to Parliament the previous evening, Mintoff said that he was satisfied that Malta had been lifted from "spiritual and material slavery to become a healthy independent nation". There is speculation that Mifsud Bonnici may well call general elections in the new year -- contrasting sharply with his distinction of having assumed office without ever having contested a national election. Mintoff's legacy -- political independence from Britain and Europe, and closer links with Libya and other Arab states -- includes a recently-signed friendship treaty with Colonel Gaddafi's regime and an important order for Malta's ailing shipyards from the Soviet Union -- is expected to be continued by the new prime minister, who has already shown himself to be as tough as his predecessor. Political observers indicated that many Maltese would prefer to see Mifsud Bonnici improve his government's relations with the United States and Western Europe.
Source: MALTA TELEVISION