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Malta Prime Minister To Step Down As Protests Continue Over Journalist's Death

Malta Prime Minister To Step Down As Protests Continue Over Journalist's Death

Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced on Sunday that he would step down from his post, The Times of Malta reported.

What Happened

In a televised address to the nation, Muscat said he would resign from his post as the leader of the ruling Labour Party on January 12, and as the prime minister of the country in the following days.

"This is what the country needs at the moment," Muscat said in the address, according to the Times of Malta.

"In the meantime, I will continue to carry out my responsibilities as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. I am ensuring stability in the leadership of the country."

Why It Matters

Muscat’s resignation comes at a time when protests over him allegedly obstructing justice in the murder case of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia continue to grow.

Caruana Galizia, who was investigating government corruption, was murdered in a car bomb attack in October 2017, as reported by the Times of Malta at the time.

Two of Muscat’s closest aides, Keith Schembri, Muscat’s former Chief of Staff, and Konrad Mizzi, former tourism minister, are being investigated by the police, according to the Times of Malta.

Both of them resigned last week after their links with Yorgen Fenech, a businessman arrested in connection with the murder, were made public.

Protestors Unsatisfied

The protestors, who have taken to the streets outside the prime minister’s office in the Maltese capital Valletta, are unlikely to be satisfied with Muscat's timeline on his resignation, BBC noted. They want him to resign immediately.

Caruana Galizia’s family is sure the Prime Minister is trying to buy time.

“Muscat has delayed his resignation in an attempt to continue protecting himself and Schembri. There is no alternative explanation,” her son said in a statement on Twitter.

Posted-In: BBCGovernment News Politics Global Economics Media General Best of Benzinga


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