Outgoing Prime Minister Joseph Muscat spoke about the bitter end to his political future on Friday saying that in spite of everything, he was satisifed there had been a breakthrough in the investigation into Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder.
Speaking on One Television, he said: “I prefer to be the person to pay with my political career, but to be able to say we made a big breakthrough on this case,” he said during a televised fund-raising marathon.
He compared the journalist's assassination to the murders of Karin Grech and Raymond Caruana, saying previous prime ministers had vouched to resolve the cases, but had failed to do so.
Recent developments into the case have pointed at the involvement of people close to the Office of the Prime Minister, including Dr Muscat's former chief of staff Keith Schembri.
Amid major pressure, Dr Muscat said he would be stepping down in mid-January.
“Of course I wish my career ended in another way,” he said.
Dr Muscat was taking part in a fundraising drive for the Labour Party which drummed up more than half a million euro in funding.
Fearne and Abela
Speaking on party leadership contenders Chris Fearne and Robert Abela, Dr Muscat said he had encouraged both to enter politics, “I cannot endorse them more than that”.
He encouraged them to always be positive, to keep all that was good and to change what they thought was bad without any worry.
“I will be there to back them, as they will want me to,” he promised, pointing out that he will not be at the forefront or vocal.
“The new leader will need space to affirm himself. I had appreciated that a great deal from Alfred Sant (his predecessor), and I want to do the same to the person who comes after me. If the party needs me to not appear at all, I will do that.
"I’ve done what I could in politics. I have other plans for my life now. Hopefully it will work out,” he said.
'The media was always against us'
Dr Muscat’s wife Michelle described Mr Fearne and Dr Abela as “two phenomenal people” and said she had no preference adding “they’re both my friends”.
She put part of the blame of the party’s current situation on the media.
“We always had the media against us. They tried to twist everything, but the people out there know the truth.”
On the Labour Party, she said it was the only party that truly belonged to the people.
“Joseph created a movement of people coming from different backgrounds. Maybe we had some defects. You sometimes think people are on a right path, when they are not. And we take responsibility for that. But it doesn’t mean everything is over, that everything is destroyed,” she asserted.
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