News Analysis by Hanadi Watfa MADRID, April 25 (KUNA) -- Spain's political spectrum has been in difficulty since Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's recent announcement that he is examining prospects of stepping down in the face of graft allegations against his wife.
The prime minister, in an address to the Spanish people posted on his X platform, said he needed some time to ponder the wisdom of staying in office or resigning. His statement triggered jitters across the local political spectrum.
Sanchez is expected to take a decisive decision on Monday to determine whether he would, or not, remain in office, amid speculations caused by a court decision to investigate charges by right-wing and radical-wing parties against his wife, Begona Gomez, that she exploited influence to make controversial transactions and serve her personal interests.
The judiciary has received a libel suit in this regard by the right-wing oriented "clean hands" organization accusing Gomez of illegal earnings made by Globalia, the group she runs, after being awarded a USD 509.8 million bailout in 2020 due to the adverse impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
The court declared opening a preliminary probe into Gomze's connections with private companies that had illegally taken public funds and worked out controversial business deals.
However, she will not be summoned to the interrogators, and only representatives of the media outlets that broadcast information about the suspicious deals will be called for questioning.
Sanchez in his public statement, declaring temporary suspension of his public duties to think about his possible resignation, said his wife would defend her integrity and cooperate with the judiciary to clarify "the facts," accusing "the clean hands" organization of publishing baseless information provided by some newspapers of his opponents in the right-wing parties.
He described the campaign as an assault on him and his family, accusing his foes of seeking to strip the government of its legitimacy, alluding in particular to the leader of the conservative Popular Party, Alberto Feijoo, and his peer in the ultra-radical party, Santiago Abascal.
Spaniards are poised to face various scenarios; Snachez' resignatin without parliament dissolution to name a new premier, a call for early elections or subjecting him to a no-confidence vote.
According to the Spanish constitution, a call for nationwide elections can be made only a year after dissolving the assembly. In the event he steps down, the first deputy prime minister and minister of finance Maria Jesus, is the most likely successor.
Leaders of the Socialist Workers Party and other left wing parties have declared support for Sanchez, but Feijoo described his decision to freeze his public work for days as an irresponsible move.