A long political day has finally come to an end: former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has resigned his seat in Malta’s parliament, effectively ending his 16 year political run.
Beloved and hated in equal measures, Muscat’s resignation was met with celebrations, tears, derision and fury, showing just how divided the average Maltese is over one of the most controversial politicians in modern Maltese history.
Here’s how Malta reacted to Muscat bowing out of politics.
1. Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola wasted no time in sharing one of her most iconic moments vis-a-vis Muscat, simply saying “out” (barra).
She also made reference to Muscat’s infamous ‘Invictus’ tattoo, which means undefeated in Latin; she posted ‘Victus’, which means ‘defeated’.
2. While former MEP candidate Felix Busuttil praised Muscat for making Malta richer and giving “dignity and integrity to many”.
3. Some members of the LGBT community disagreed, making it clear that it was activists who fought for the rights enjoyed in modern Malta, not Joseph Muscat.
4. While others said they were left in tears following the news that Muscat was finally leaving the scene.
5. A prominent Maltese musician took a moment to reflect on murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, and said that Muscat should not consider himself on the same level of previous Prime Minister and Labour Party behemoth Dom Mintoff.
6. However, his former colleagues were full of praise for their former leader, saying he had led a new “winning generation” into mainstream politics.
7. And one of Malta’s most controversial priests decided to hold an hour-long live video inside a church where he thanks God for Muscat’s resignation.
8. As Muscat left parliament for the last time, Caruana Galizia’s sister shared a video from when Muscat was also forced to leave parliament last December, as crowds gathered and called for his resignation.
Muscat will step out of the political limelight for now. However, the question on everyone’s lips is what he plans to do next.
And if social media comments are anything to go by, Malta will be awaiting his next move with a mix of fear and excitement.