The Malta Independent 13 December 2019, Friday

Watch: Outgoing PM Joseph Muscat says he will limit himself to day to day administration

Monday, 2 December 2019, 09:45 Last update: about 10 days ago

Outgoing Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the five-week period between his announced resignation and the election of the new leader is the shortest possible interim period during which the election for his successor can be staged.

On Sunday, Muscat announced that he will resign as Labour Party leader on 12 January, and from PM some time later.

Making a statement as he walked into his office at Castille this morning, Muscat said he will not take any questions of a judicial nature – but after making his statement, he did not take any questions of a political nature either.

He said he will refrain from commenting on the judicial proceedings as whatever he might say may be interpreted as trying to defend someone or undermine someone else, which he did not want to do.

He said that this case – the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia – has seen a major breakthrough, something that few people believed would happen.

It is “quite a first”, he said, that a case of national importance has seen a person alleged to be the mastermind behind the killing has been arraigned in a relatively short time.

The PM was referring to Yorgen Fenech, who last Saturday was charged in court.

Muscat said that the perception was that there were shortcomings or that things could have been done differently by some people.

“I need to shoulder responsibility for that”, he said, adding that he was doing so by submitting his resignation.

He said the interim period between the announcement of the resignation and the election of the leader is the shortest possible time to allow for the process of the election for his successor ro take place.

During the next month, he said, he will limit himself to the day-to-day operations of the government. From January a new Prime Minister will take the decisions that need to be taken, he said, walking away without taking questions.

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