Maltese is a large city sprawl that is in theory ruled by a council of 27 who vote on all major decisions. Each of the 27 members of council represents a district, although the borders are often indistinct and the people of the districts don’t have a say in who represents them on the council.
The Council is an Oligarchy and almost all members remain for life; only stepping down when they can be assured to control who their successor will be. Each member is firmly entrenched with one of the crime syndicates, corporations, or a mixture of the two.
Districts have their own governing bodies, often looking more like traditional city government with mayors and some sort of board or congress. These are often elected positions, but the corruption in most districts makes a popular vote little more than theatrics. The local governments do have more direct impact on citizens lives controlling power, water, and waste management as well as emergency services. Those with enough wealth buy private contracts for most services to ensure they aren’t affected by the shortfalls of mismanagement.