Malta PM to Resign in January 2020

Cheryl Sanders
December 4, 2019

"I think everybody recognizes, including the prime minister himself, that he has made some serious errors of judgment and I would say that staying on longer than necessary is another error of judgment", she told reporters.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Sunday told the nation that he would resign next month, following pressure from angry citizens for the truth about the 2017 vehicle bombing that killed a journalist pursuing corruption.

But Malta is now living through what has been described as "a nightmare before Christmas" as the scandal over the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia deepens.

There was a heavy police presence at Castille Square this morning that was again cordoned off by barriers as members of the European Parliament delegation arrived for a meeting with Joseph Muscat scheduled for 8.30am on Tuesday.

Led by Dutch MEP Sophie in't Veld, it will examine doubts about the judiciary's independence and allegations of corruption.

Caruana Galizia had written extensively about corruption in political and business circles in the EU's smallest state. "[Yorgen] Fenech wasn't acting alone".

Concerns about the island country's rule of law escalated after the arrest of 38-year-old business tycoon Yorgen Fenech on 20 November this year on charges of murdering the journalist.

Investigations into the auto bomb murder of journalist Caruana Galizia intensified recently after Maltese police announced they would be questioning senior members of Muscat's government in relation to her killing. A leading investigative journalist, she was part of the team who published "The Panama Papers", a global investigation detailing the shadowy efforts of the super-wealthy to hide money and power from tax authorities and others.

Fenech was reported to be prepared to give more information in return for a pardon.

The Maltese PM's chief of staff and the tourism minister resigned on 25 and 26 November 2019 respectively.

Schembri was arrested last week, but released two days later, fuelling accusations of a cover-up.

I will write to the President of the Labor Party so that the process for a new Leader is set for 12th January 2020.

"Until he resigns, we will use all legal remedies to ensure Muscat has no further involvement in the investigation and criminal proceedings, other than as a possible suspect", the family said in a statement.

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