December 1, 2019 / 7:22 PM / 15 days ago

Maltese prime minister announces plans to step down

FILE PHOTO: Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat addresses a press conference after an urgent Cabinet meeting at the Auberge de Castille in Valletta, Malta November 29, 2019. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

VALETTA (Reuters) - Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced on Sunday he planned to step down, saying on state television he would ask his ruling Labour Party to start a process to choose a new leader on Jan. 12 next year.

Calls for Muscat to step down grew after a probe into the 2017 car bomb killing of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia led to charges on Saturday against a prominent businessman with alleged ties to government ministers and senior officials.

Reporting by Stephen Grey; Editing by Frances Kerry

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