PM Joseph Muscat delivered his final speech as Malta’s Prime Minister this evening. He announced his plans to resign last December.
The event comes to an end. Thanks for following.
Muscat shakes hands and signs books as he bids farewell to his supporters.
Muscat ends his speech saying “I love you”
He describes leading the PL as his best memory yet
He thanks those supporters who “loved” him till the end
Muscat says that people attacked his children because his adversaries knew it would be hard to hurt him directly
He also thanks his two children who started the journey with him when they were still newborns. He says that there were people who directed their hate towards them
He thanks his parents who he says worried about him a lot
He thanks his wife Michelle and describes her as the backbone of the family.
Muscat thanks all those who remained by his side until the end
He says that the case has been solved.
Muscat says that he never wanted a mother to be killed because she aired her views. He says that he was hurt by her writing. He says he never can feel what her family feels. He mentions Daphne Caruana Galizia by her name.
Muscat plans to involve himself in sports. He wants to implement a project which would allow youths to expand their horizons beyond Malta.
Muscat says that he’ll be more free to express his opinions without the shackles of a fixed role
Muscat speaks about the divorce and hunting referendums. He says that he went against advice he was given and spoke his mind
He says he will be involving himself in two areas – one if them is civil liberties
He says that he’ll remain with the party, however that he won’t take centre stage
“What’s certain is that I’m not joining the PN”
He says that he was asked what his future plans were.
Muscat says that unlike others, he didn’t kill the talent he saw around him but reared it
Muscat says that Malta would benefit if everyone is given the same opportunities, regardless of their sex
Muscat says he never stooped down to the level of his adversaries
Muscat says he made a conscience decision to withstand everything that was thrown at him without lashing back. He says that despite all that he faced, he remained victorious. He adds that the Maltese will remain victorious with Fearne or Abela at the helm.
He says he calls these kinds of people “cruel” and not “politicians”
Muscat says his family was framed because someone wanted to get into power
"We cried together as a family. But these attacks strengthened us."
Muscat says he was ready for all kinds of criticism. He says that the toughest criticism he faced was the criticism directed towards his wife and children.
Muscat says that he dedicated his life to Malta with no regrets
Muscat says that he retained the support of his parliamentary group until the very end
“I never led through Facebook. I led through my conscience”
He says there were many difficult moments, but that he expected nothing less. He said that there were moments when he had to make difficult decisions alone – including this evening about whether or not to turn back a boat which saved immigrants
He says these are the moments which led him to go into politics
Muscat lists a number of personal stories he came across during his tenure
He says he lived the darkest moments alone in solitude. He also says he often celebrated in private. He adds that as of late he hasn’t been receiving as many emails these past few weeks and that he realised who his true friends are.
"I believe that the best of times are still ahead of us"
“Whenever the PL dreamt, Malta won”
According to Muscat, the PL became more organised during the past 12 years and strengthened its democratic processes. Appeals for people not to get lost in nostalgia
Muscat says that the PL should not be afraid to remove bad elements while keeping good ones. He says his plan was always for there to be a renewal this year.
Muscat says he is leaving behind a country able to take care of those who need the most help
He describes his government as “pro-business” and “pro-worker”
Muscat says that people with a disability who aren’t able to work are being paid the minimum wage
He says thousands of pensioners are benefiting from continuous increases to their pensions, adding that he increased them year after year since 2013. He encouraged the next PM to care for pensioners
Muscat says that thousands of women went back to work thanks to the free-childcare initiative
He reiterates that employers are begging for employees. Says that the PL implemented a silent revolution which no one mentions, referring to the employment of people with a disability
He says his Government is implementing Malta’s biggest ever infrastructural programme
The PM says that the employment rate is among the highest in Europe. Reminds people that his Government has been generating a surplus since 2016
He says that faith leads to success
Muscat says that his Government found a huge deficit and high unemployment. He says that there were 12,000 dependent on social benefits. He says that courageous decisions were taken – including the increase in the minimum wage. He adds that no one can remain on the minimum wage for longer than a year.
Muscat says if Malta didn’t have gas-powered powerstations, households would have remained dark as from December onwards
Muscat says they removed the dirtiest of oils from Malta’s powerstations.
Muscat says that the PL was a credible opposition which promised to reduce electricity tariffs. He says that they were then elected to Government and managed to lower them.
“Three leaders of the PN who supposedly had to win against a school-boy with little difficulty”
Muscat reminisces about the 2013 election. He says that before we spoke, someone told him that then PM Lawrence Gonzi had brought Eddie Fenech Adami and Simon Busuttil to speak. He then realised that they were more scared than he initially thought.
Muscat says the PL still enjoys the same majority support it did in the previous years
Muscat says that as of the 2009 MEP elections, the PL never lost an election. He says that the PL had 10 victories which changed Malta's political map
Muscat says that they should admit mistakes. He says he carries the responsibility for mistakes made by him and others. He says that this is what his role demands of him. He says that people hurt him. He says that he might have also hurt some people unknowingly. He urged people to love their country until their dying breath.
He says that he stayed on to see that a horrible act was solved. When he saw that he couldn’t promise positivity, he decided to step aside for someone else to be able to take the lead. He says he took the decision to resign for unity to win over hate.
He says he paid the highest political price by choosing to address the crowd this evening for the last time as PM
Muscat: My message to the future PL – Don’t allow division to win against unity, don’t allow negativity to win against positivity
He tells the crowd not to worry when his opponents call him names. He says that unity creates a bond which can’t be undone with jealousy.
He assures the crowd that his opponents got jealous about the unity which was instilled in the country. He accused them of trying to drive wedges between people
He says that although some might be happy that he is leaving, they can’t enjoy the feeling of being victorious against him
Muscat reminisces about his time when he first started leading the PL. He reminds people that Joe Cuschieri had to give up his seat for him to enter parliament.
Muscat thanks his supporters for all their support
Muscat enters the hall and is greeted by a huge applause.
Micallef encourages his party's members to go out and vote tomorrow. He thanks Fearne and Abela for contesting the election. He also appeals for unity.
Micallef says PL's leaders were always demonised.
Micallef says Muscat may have made great changes too fast for them to be appreciated. Says the social programme the PL always had can only be implemented if Malta generates wealth.
PL President Daniel Micallef starts his introduction
Chris Fearne and Robert Abela go out on stage and wave to the crowd. They'll be contesting tomorrows leadership election.
Muscat will be speaking in a packed hall. Screens have been setup outside for people who didn't manage to secure a spot in the hall.
Good evening and welcome to our live coverage of Joseph Muscat's final speech as Prime Minister. The event is being organised in the Corradino Sports Pavillion, in Paola.