Updated 8.05pm 

President George Vella on Tuesday again called for calm in the country and appealed for all, "big and small", to consider the consequences of their actions.

In a short primetime televised address, Dr Vella said that he was doing everything possible in terms of the Constitution.

The gravity of the current situation, he said, had been explained to him in a particularly forceful manner by the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development, which represented a wide cross-section of society.

“I  am once more appealing to the people for calm and for everyone to be aware of their responsibilities... Everyone should consider the consequences of their actions... All should unite and without looking at faces, allow institutions to do their work and deliver justice.”

“That way we can slowly return to normality, before the harm being caused to the country in many sectors, also internationally, becomes irreparable," he said.

He appealed for respect of the country and its values.

"Malta deserves better."

This was the second time that the President commented publicly on the current political crisis stemming from developments in the Daphne Caruana Galizia investigation.

The crisis reached a high point when Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced on Sunday that he would step down in January - bowing to public pressure in the wake of criticism over his inaction to sack chief of staff Keith Schembri and tourism minister Konrad Mizzi, who were financially linked to the suspected murder mastermind Yorgen Schembri. The two resigned on Tuesday but have denied wrongdoing.

The President as head of state is the 'guardian of the constitution' and appoints as prime minister the person who, in his judgement, commands a majority of the members of the House of Representatives.

In a statement on Saturday, the Office of the President said that Dr Vella had, 'with regret and concern' closely followed developments related to the murder investigation.

He also had meetings with Dr Muscat and Opposition leader Adrian Delia.

When asked to grant a presidential pardon, he had acted strictly in terms of the constitution after consultations with the police commissioner, the attorney general and private advisers, the Office said.

It added that Dr Vella was calling for calm and urging all to let the organs of the state do their work. 

He also appealed for anyone having institutional or administrative responsibilities in the country to shoulder his responsibilities without making distinctions.

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