Joseph Muscat, (born 22 January 1974) is a Maltese politician who served as Prime Minister of Malta from 2013 to 2020, and Leader of the Partit Laburista (PL) from June 2008 to January 2020. Muscat was re-elected as prime minister in the elections of 3 June 2017 (55.04% after 54.83% in 2013). Previously he was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 2004 to 2008. He was Leader of the Opposition from October 2008 to March 2013. Muscat identifies as a progressive and liberal politician, with pro-business leanings, and has been associated with both economically liberal and socially liberal policies. Muscat succeeded Alfred Sant as party leader in 2008. He rebranded the Labour Party, which embraced an increasingly socially liberal and centrist position. The 2013 general election saw Muscat becoming Prime Minister in March 2013. His premiership was marked for pulling together a national consensus for economic growth, based on a restructured Maltese economy. His administration led to large-scale changes to welfare and civil liberties, including the legalisation of same-sex marriage in July 2017. Muscat presided over the rise of the Labour Party and its dominance in Maltese politics, and the relative decline of the Nationalist Party. Muscat has been praised for eliminating Malta's national deficit, decreasing unemployment to historic lows, and presiding over an unprecedented period of economic growth. Conversely, he has been criticised by figures on both the left and right, and has been accused of political opportunism, broken promises on meritocracy and the environment, as well as corruption allegations. On 1 December 2019, under pressure from the 2019 street protests calling for his resignation in relation to the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, Muscat announced his resignation, and stepped down on 13 January 2020.