Thousands of Labour Party supporters gathered along Mile End Road in Hamrun to show their support for Prime Minister Joseph Muscat after he announced the date of his resignation.
Muscat appeared before a jovial crowd who chanted his name throughout the night. The Prime Minister, who has promised to step down by 12th January 2020 following a leadership election, seemed truly content with the response from his supporters.
Muscat resigned following ever increasing pressure after Yorgen Fenech, the Tumas Group magnate, was arrested and charged in connection with the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Damning for Muscat was the arrest and resignation of his Chief of Staff Keith Schembri in connection with the case. While Schembri has been released without charge, Fenech has implicated him in the murder.
Protestors calling for Muscat’s immediate resignation have gathered in Valletta regularly. Today was no different, with protestors even barricading Ministers and MPs inside the Parliament building.
They did, however, manage to escape, with all of the parliamentary group making their way to the Labour Party headquarters.
All were well-received. However, bar Muscat, former Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi received widespread cheers from the crowd.
Mizzi, who was named in the Panama Papers with Schembri and forms part of the offshore web of companies that links the pair with Fenech’s 17 Black account, resigned as Minister during this political crisis finally shouldering political responsibility for the many claims levelled against him.
It should be noted that the Labour Party, including Muscat, actually told its supporters not to turn up in front of the headquarters today out of fear that it cause an outbreak of violence between protestors and supporters.
However, it counted for nothing, with supporters still turning up in their droves.
What this means for Muscat’s future remains to be seen.