Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat will step down on January 18, once those behind the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia have been charged, party sources told AFP Saturday.
The news came amid mounting pressure from Caruana Galizia's family and protesters on the streets, who have cried foul over his handling of the affair.
He will step down once his Labour Party has chosen a new leader, said the party insiders.
"He always said that he will be leaving soon and he feels that now is the time to go," said one party source.
First however, he wanted to see that the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder was solved on under his watch, as he had promised, sources added.
"After the mastermind or masterminds are arraigned in court, he plans to announce that he will be stepping down and that there will be a leadership election on January 18," a party source told AFP.
The escalating murder investigation has rocked the tiny Mediterranean island and reached the highest rungs of the country's politics, with two ministers and Muscat's chief of staff Keith Schembri stepping down from their posts this week.