Malta votes in early elections tied to Panama Papers scandal

VALLETTA, MALTA: Maltese voters are heading to the polls a year early after Prime Minister Joseph Muscat called snap elections following an investigation into allegations his wife owned a company related to the Panama Papers scandal.

Surveys show Labour's Muscat is likely to win a second, five-year term Saturday. But polls indicated one-fifth of voters were undecided, giving the National Force, made up of the Nationalist Party and newly formed Democratic Party, a slight chance.

The Panama Papers scandal, which detailed offshore companies and other financial data of the rich and powerful, exposed Malta's energy minister and Muscat's chief of staff as having acquired a company in Panama.

Muscat called new elections and ordered a magisterial inquiry after allegations surfaced that his wife also owned a company in Panama. They deny wrondoing.