Muscat could stay on till January 2020, until Labour leader is elected

‘Imminent’ resignation will drag on right until the Labour leadership elections

Joseph Muscat is expected to stay on up untiol the start of 2020
Joseph Muscat is expected to stay on up untiol the start of 2020

Joseph Muscat could be expected to stay on as prime minister right up until the 18th January 2020, when the Labour Party is expected to hold its leadership election.

Party sources have told MaltaToday Muscat is expected to announce his resignation when the Tumas magnate, Yorgen Fenech, is arraigned in connection with the assassination of the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

But until then, despite reports of his imminent resignation, Muscat will formally step down when Labour elects its new leader.

The party has already ordered its polling booths to elect Muscat’s successor, which will see delegates whittle down the field of contenders to two contestants, who are then finally picked by all the party’s paid-up members.

There will be no transitionary leader, either.

Muscat is therefore expected to spend the next weeks as prime minister.

The decision to step down was prompted by a stormy Cabinet meeting that refused a pardon for Yorgen Fenech, in which Muscat was faced by near-mutiny by Cabinet members who were taken aback at the scale of information on Fenech that could have been privy to chief of staff Keith Schembri.