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09 Dec 2019 | 11:27 AM UTC

Malta: Activists stage sit-in at government headquarters in Valletta December 9 /update 6

Activists block entrance to government headquarters in Valletta December 9; additional protests expected over the near term

security
transportation
MLT

Event

Protesters staged a sit-in at the Auberge de Castille in Valletta on the morning (local time) of Monday, December 9, to demand the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Activists reportedly blocked the entrance to the government's headquarters for nearly five hours, as well as a main road in Valletta.

Further protests are possible in the coming days. A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are expected near any protest site. 

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. 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 and prompted widespread protests.

On December 1, Prime Minister Muscat announced that he will resign as leader of the Labour Party on Sunday, January 12, 2020, and resign as prime minister in the days following. However, several opposition activists have called for the prime minister's immediate resignation.

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.