Spain's Socialist Party urges PM Sanchez not to resign amid attacks on wife

Spanish President Pedro Sanchez Perez-Castejon received the vocal backing of his ruling Socialist Party colleagues Saturday while pondering resignation amid political attacks against his wife. File photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI
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April 27 (UPI) -- Spain's Socialist Party convened in Madrid Saturday to rally behind Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez as he considers resigning amid attacks against his wife.

First Deputy Prime Minister María Jesús Montero, in a video posted to X Saturday, was seen rallying Socialist supporters to send the message to Sánchez, "There are millions of us who are by your side and who say in unison that yes, it is worth continuing."

Montero also said Sánchez and his family have suffered "verbal violence" in a "dirty campaign against them."

Sánchez has pondered resignation after a judge's decision to open corruption investigation proceedings into his wife, Begoña Gómez.

Gómez is accused of abusing her position to endorse certain business leaders for public tenders.

The complaint against Gómez was filed Wednesday by the political group Manos Limpias, or "Clean Hands," a purported far-right group that has a habit of filing complaints against leftist leaders.

Sánchez, regardless, was upset by the allegations and announced Wednesday he would suspend his public duties until Monday, when he is expected to announce whether or not he will stay in office.

In a public letter, the prime minister said he must "answer the question of whether it is worth it, whether I should continue at the head of the government or resign from this honor."

Spanish prosecutors on Thursday called for the corruption inquiry into Gómez to be thrown out, arguing there is no evidence that justifies criminal proceedings.

Manos Limpias founder Miguel Bernard denied Sánchez's labeling of the group as a "far-right-wing organization" and insisted he was exercising "a right and a duty as a citizen" and that the judge can verify whether or not the allegations against Gómez are true.

Bernard was recently acquitted by the Spanish Supreme Court after being convicted by the country's National High Court for extorting money from banks and businesses.

Sánchez, who has been the head of the Socialist Party for 10 years and has three years left in office should he remain, has endured far-right attacks against his office before.

Conservative and far-right groups have accused him of undermining the rule of law by pardoning Catalan separatists charged with sedition over an independence referendum in 2017 in exchange for their support.

While members of the ruling Socialists and other leftist political groups have rallied around Sánchez, the conservative opposition People's Party and the far-right Vox have accused him of "playing the victim" and demanded explanations on the accusations against his wife.

Sánchez also received support from international leaders such as President Gustavo Petro of Colombia and President Lula da Silva of Brazil.