Joseph Muscat publishes resignation letter 'to avoid speculation'

Joseph Muscat publishes the resignation letter he sent to the President in January when he stepped down from prime minister • President had refused to publish letter

Former prime minister Joseph Muscat
Former prime minister Joseph Muscat

Former prime minister Joseph Muscat has published on his personal Facebook page the resignation letter he sent the President last January.

Muscat said he took the step to "avoid speculation" on the matter after President George Vella had refused to publish the correspondence.

Muscat said that while he respected Vella’s position in not publishing correspondence received by his office, he was releasing the letter himself to curb speculation.

The letter itself is simply three lines, with Muscat not missing the opportunity to underline his achievements in winning two large mandates.

“In line with what I had spoken to you during our meetings in the last weeks, and with what I had publicly said, now that a new leader has been elected for the Labour Party, I am resigning from my post as Prime Minister of Malta,” Muscat said in the letter.

He went on to say that he would be retaining his seat as member of parliament.

B’konsultazzjoni mal-Uffiċċju tal-President, qed tiġi ppublikata l-ittra ta’ riżenja minn Prim Ministru li Dr Joseph...

Posted by Joseph Muscat on Monday, 24 August 2020

In the letter which was sent on 13 January, he informed the President that the Speaker and Cabinet were informed of his decision to resign from PM.

The former Labour leader concluded the resignation letter by thanking the Maltese electorate for the opportunity and privilege at leading the country with two consecutive mandates “one bigger than the other”.

The reason for his resignation was not laid out in the letter to the President.

In a video on the 1 December, Muscat had announced his resignation following revelations in the case of murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Protestors had taken to the streets of the capital demanding his immediate resignation when court testimony implicated Muscat's chief of staff Keith Schembri in the murder.

Despite requests made by the press, the President had refrained from publishing Muscat’s resignation letter.