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Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez says he will not resign

April 29, 2024

The announcement comes after Sanchez had canceled appointments last week amid corruption allegations against his wife. He has vowed to end "toxic" politics.

Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez gives public address on April 29, 2024
Spain was waiting in suspense for five days until Sanchez declared he would stay on as PMImage: Thomas Coex/AFP

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Monday that he planned to stay in his role, despite allegations against his wife Begona Gomez.

The news came after five days of silence that began when a court said it was investigating his wife for corruption and other charges.

What the Spanish prime minister said

"I have decided to continue with even more strength, if possible, at the helm of the government of Spain," Sanchez said in a televised speech. 

The premier said an apparent campaign against him and his wife was serious, but that it was not the most important thing.

Sanchez said a mass show of public support and the backing of his own party had helped make his decision.

"For too long we've let this filth corrupt our political and public life with toxic methods that were unimaginable just a few years ago... Do we really want this for Spain?" he asked. 

"I have acted out of a clear conviction: either we say 'enough is enough' or this degradation of public life will define our future and condemn us as a country."

Sanchez had said last Wednesday that he was considering stepping down, in a surprise move.

The leader of Spain's socialist PSOE party had then canceled all appointments and said he would announce his decision on Monday.

Why was Sanchez considering quitting?

The allegations against Gomez, who does not hold public office, came from the right-wing Manos Limpias (Clean Hands) organization, which accused her of peddling influence and corruption in business.

Sanchez had posted a letter on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, saying he needed to think about whether it was worthwhile continuing in his role.

He blamed the investigation on online news sites politically aligned with the leading opposition center-right Popular Party (PP) and the far-right Vox party.

Sanchez accused opposition leader Alberto Nunez Feijoo of the PP and Vox leader Santiago Abascal of "trying to dehumanize and delegitimize the political adversary through actions that are as scandalous as they are false."

The 52-year-old Sanchez, in office since 2018, was reappointed to another term in November.

Spain's Sanchez wins another term as prime minister

Thousands took to the streets in Madrid and other cities on the weekend to demonstrate in favor of Sanchez remaining in office. 

Demonstrators carried placards with messages such as "Sanchez, yes, keep going" or "Don't give up."

rc/wd (dpa, Reuters, AFP)