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Malta's prime minister says he will resign

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics - Duration: 01:37s - Published < > Embed
Malta's prime minister says he will resign

Malta's prime minister says he will resign

Engulfed in crisis over the probe into a murdered journalist, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced on Sunday he planned to step down.

Muscat said he would ask his ruling Labour Party to start choosing a new leader for the country next month.

Eve Johnson reports.

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Malta's prime minister says he will resign

The prime minister of Malta is stepping down.

Joseph Muscat has been caught up in an escalating political crisis sparked by an investigation into the murder of a journalist.

Muscat made the announcement Sunday (December 1) on national television He said he plans to stay in power for another month or so while his ruling Labour Party decides on who should be the next leader.

"In the coming period, we will initiate a process so that our country will have a new Prime Minister, a Prime Minister who will continue the work and the strong mandate of this Government.

In the meantime, I will continue to carry out my responsibilities." Anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb in 2017.

On Saturday (November 30) a prominent businessman with alleged ties to the government was charged with complicity in her murder.

Yorgen Fenech has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

News of his arrest intensified protests in the capital city Valletta with calls for Muscat to quit.

Malta is a member of the EU with a population of just 400,000.

The country has been rattled by the murder and its fallout.

Some see Muscat's resignation as a chance to rebuild a broken system.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) MALTESE STUDENT, MALCOLM VELLA (19), SAYING: "The trust in the police is lost, it is gone.

The authorities, we can't trust them anymore so hopefully there will be a turn over for the better." (SOUNDBITE) (English) MALTESE STUDENT, ERIKA PUGLISEVICH (21), SAYING: "We have a very bad name for ourselves on the news especially internationally.

So, hopefully there will be a great turnover so people will have hope in the government and hope in our future." Muscat plans to step down as Labour Party chief and prime minister in early January.




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