Malta PM Resigns for Corruption, New PM to Probe Murder of Journalist

Daphne Caruana Galizia. Photo: Transparency International
Daphne Caruana Galizia. Photo: Transparency International

The Maltese protests that started in November 2019 have exposed political corruption and lack of government action on money laundering.

By Rakesh Raman

After the resignation of Prime Minister (PM) Joseph Muscat under corruption allegations, the Southern European island country Malta has appointed Robert Abela who replaced Muscat on Sunday (January 12).

Although Abela is believed to be a close associate of Muscat, he has promised to strengthen the rule of law and hold a fair investigation into the murder of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Amid widespread protests by the citizens over mounting political corruption in Malta, the European Parliament had asked Muscat to quit.

The protesters were demanding Muscat’s resignation for his role in the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and government corruption in the country.

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A resolution passed by the European Parliament stated that it was deeply concerned about the integrity and credibility of the investigation into the death of Caruana Galizia who was killed in a car bombing. It added that “any risk of compromising the investigations must be excluded by all means” and warned that this risk will persist for “as long as the Prime Minister remains in office.”

Through her reporting, Daphne Caruana Galizia exposed corruption scandals involving influential politicians and others in Malta and abroad. Since her murder on October 16th, 2017, Maltese authorities have initiated criminal proceedings against her alleged killers, and an inquiry into whether anyone else should be charged.

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The Maltese protests that started in November 2019 have exposed political corruption and lack of government action on money laundering. The ongoing protests include demonstrations, marches, sit-ins, and civil disobedience. The Maltese government has been accused of using intimidation tactics against protesters and journalists.

The Caruana Galizia family, political parties, the European Union mission in Malta, academics, civil society, the University of Malta students’ union, and organized business and labour unions had called for PM Muscat’s immediate resignation.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications on different subjects.

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Rakesh Raman