Thousands rally in Madrid to support PM as corruption probe continues

Thousands of supporters of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez rallied at the headquarters of his Socialist party imploring him not to step down over a graft investigation against his wife.

The 52-year-old, who has been in office since 2018, stunned Spain on Wednesday when he put his resignation on the line after a Madrid court opened a preliminary investigation into suspected influence peddling and corruption against his spouse Begona Gomez.

Sanchez said he would suspend all public duties until he announces his decision on Monday. The normally hyperactive premier has since remained out of sight and silent.

According to Madrid city authorities, the crowd rallying on Saturday to beg Sanchez to stay on numbered around 12,500.

Supporters held up placards saying "Spain needs you", "Pedro don't abandon us', and shouted slogans such as "Pedro leader".

"I hope that Sanchez will say on Monday that he will stay," said Sara Dominguez, a consultant in her 30's, adding that his government had "taken good steps for women, the LGBT community and minorities".

"This will mean a step backwards for our rights and liberties," he warned.

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