Joseph Muscat walked down the steps of Castille as prime minister on Monday for the last time in a low-key event just minutes before handing in his resignation to the President George Vella.

Staff from his office, including his former chief of staff’s confidante Neville Gafa, lined the steps to see Dr Muscat off. 

A small group of curious onlookers gathered outside Castille as Dr Muscat walked down from his office to applause from his staff, many of whom had tears in their eyes. 

Accompanied by his wife Michelle, Dr Muscat said his final goodbyes and walked into his car, making no attempt to engage with waiting journalists. 

Just months before his understated last day in power, Dr Muscat had been entertaining the prospect of landing a top job within the EU institutions. 

He was elected as prime minister in March 2013, sweeping Labour back into power after a 15-year stint in Opposition. 

His position at the helm seemed cemented in June 2017 after he called an early election following mounting corruption allegations. 

Two years later, however, the former prime minister resigned under a dark cloud after his former chief of staff Keith Schembri was questioned in relation to the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. 

Suspected murder mastermind Yorgen Fenech has named Mr Schembri as a co-conspirator in the murder plot, an accusation he denies. 

The former prime minister has been accused of sheltering Mr Schembri ever since he was implicated in the Panama Papers scandal in 2016. 

Dr Muscat has been succeeded by Robert Abela, whose grassroots campaign and promise not to undermine Dr Muscat’s legacy as prime minister won him a surprise victory over deputy prime minister Chris Fearne. 

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