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03 Dec 2019 | 03:37 AM UTC

Malta: Protests reported in Valletta December 3 /update 4

Ongoing protest in Valletta as of the morning (local time) on December 3; further protest planned end of the day; anticipate disruptions

security
transportation
MLT

Event

Protesters gathered in front of the Auberge de Castille in Valletta as of the morning (local time) on Tuesday, December 3, to demand the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. A heavy police presence was reported in the area, as well as around the parliament building.

Another protest has been called for 19:00 (local time), outside the police headquarters located in Floriana. Numerous civil society groups are expected to join the protest.

A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are expected near the protest sites. Further protests are expected in the near term.

Context

Several thousand people have demonstrated in Valletta since November 26, to demand political change and the resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and other senior government officials for their purported complicity in the assassination of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Galizia was murdered in October 2017 due to her reporting on government corruption in Malta. A police investigation into her murder has led to the resignation of several government officials as of November 26 and prompted widespread protests.

Muscat announced his resignation on Sunday, December 1, saying he would resign as leader of the Labour Party on January 12, 2020, and resign as prime minister in the days following. He added that he expects his ruling Labour Party to decide on a new leader and a new prime minister in the days leading up to January 12.

Advice

Individuals in Malta, particularly in Valletta, are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, prepare for transportation disruptions around protest sites, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.