President of Peru Resigns Amid Oldebrecht Corruption Scandal

HAVANA TIMES – The president of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, suddenly resigned on Wednesday in a message recorded on video that was broadcast on television when he had already left the Government Palace, reported dpa.

“The best thing is that I resign because I do not want to be a stumbling block,” said Kuczynski, who acknowledged that there is a “climate of ungovernability” and complained about the way he was treated by the opposition in the year and eight months he held the presidency.

The president, who technically remains in office until Congress decides, said he gave his best “despite the constant obstruction and attacks that I have been subjected to by the parliamentary majority since the first day,” in obvious reference to the radical rightwing party Popular Force (FP), which until December formed an absolute majority.

The Congress will meet in the next hours to see if it accepts or rejects the resignation and proceeds with the dismissal. Spokespersons on the left such as Alberto Quintanilla and Maria Foronda did not rule out the second option, insisting that the president did not apologize and focused the blame on the adversaries.
Kuczynski recalled in a nine-minute message that the Congress removed or forced the resignation of several ministers and “distorted” episodes of his personal life, in reference to his ties with the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, the main trigger for his fall.

Kuczynski denied “that my government has offered construction projects in exchange for votes,” regarding the videos that appeared on Tuesday, in which he apparently attempts to bribe a parliamentarian in exchange for his favorable vote in the impeachment process underway and which was set to take place on Thursday.

Until the release of the video, it was thought that Kuczynski still had a chance to survive the impeachment motion, as he had already done in December through an apparent agreement with a PF faction that included a pardon for former President Alberto Fujimori.
Kuczynski, 79, who took office in July 2018 on behalf of the Liberal Right party Peruanos Por el Cambio for a four year term, should now be replaced by the first vice president, Martin Vizcarra, who is in Canada, where he serves as ambassador.
Although the silence of Vizcarra during the process has generated concern, media such as Channel N television assured that the former transport minister and former governor of the small department of Moquegua, a liberal as Kuczynski, will arrive Thursday in Lima to take over.

The transmission of Kuczynski’s previously recorded message was made after Kuczynski left the Palace in the middle of a special farewell with his subordinates, which practically made it clear that he was leaving not to return.