Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has called a snap general election for June 3, a year before the end of his term.
The move comes after opposition parties demanded his resignation following allegations that his wife owns an offshore company in Panama.
Both deny any wrongdoing with Muscat declaring earlier he had nothing to fear because truth is on his side.
The scandal erupted after a prominent blogger accused the Maltese premier’s wife of improper business dealings based on the leaked Panama Papers. An inquiry has been launched.
Earlier on Monday Muscat said he would ask the president to dissolve parliament. The Mediterranean island nation currently holds the rotating EU presidency
The Maltese leader was elected with a big majority in 2013.
Buoyed by strong economic growth, including record low unemployment, Muscat’s ruling Labour party currently leads the opposition Nationalist Party by around 4 percentage points in the opinion polls.