The Latest: Malta leader to resign next month amid protests

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Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat talks to reporters in Valletta, Malta, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Malta authorities arrested prominent businessman Yorgen Fenech, who appears to be a “person of interest” in the assassination of leading investigative reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia, killed by a powerful car bomb in October 2017. (AP Photo/Jonathan Borg)

VALLETTA, Malta (AP) — The Latest on Malta’s politics amid public pressure for truth on reporter’s slaying (all times local):

8:20 p.m.

Malta’s prime minister says he will resign in January following pressure from citizens for the truth about the 2017 car bombing that killed a journalist.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, in a televised message Sunday night, said he has informed the nation’s president that he will quit as leader of the governing Labor Party on Jan. 12 and that “in the days after I will resign as prime minister.”

___

4:25 p.m.

Malta’s embattled prime minister has received a pledge of confidence from Labor Party lawmakers amid demands for his resignation by citizens angry over alleged links of his former top aide to the car bomb killing of a Maltese anti-corruption journalist.

The ruling Labor Party parliamentary group on Sunday expressed “unanimous support” for Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, in power since 2013, and “decisions he will be taking.”

Maltese media have said Muscat might stay in office till January, when a party congress must elect a new leader.

His former chief of staff Keith Schembri was linked to the 2017 killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia. He was among the government members targeted by her investigative reporting. Schembri, who resigned last week, was arrested in the probe but later released. He denies wrongdoing.

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