Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski Resigns
After less than two years in office, Peru’s president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has resigned over a vote-buying scandal.
On Wed. March 21, Kuczynski announced his official resignation in front of a crowded room of congressmen and women. Kuczynski was to face his second impeachment trial on Thursday and had previously vowed not to resign.
Though he continues to deny any wrongdoing, Kuczynski claimed in a nationally televised address that he did not want to be an obstacle to the country's development. He stated, “I don't want my country, nor my family, to continue suffering through the uncertainty of recent times.”
On Tues., one day before his resignation, a video was released showing key allies trying to buy the support of opposition lawmakers. Kuczynski has denied these allegations and has claimed the videos to be edited and pushed by his political rivals.
In addition to these recent events, Kuczynski has faced harsh criticism and accusations of corruption for months. Back in Dec., Peru initiated the process to impeach Kuczynski over corruption allegations involving Brazilian construction firm- Odebrecht. Odebrecht had admitted to paying around $800 million in bribes to various Latin American heads of state and politicians, including Kuczynski.
Lawmakers were scheduled to meet on Thur. to vote on whether to accept Kuczynski’s vote and are prepared to swear in First Vice-President Martín Vizcarra as acting president.
According to a survey by polling firm GFK, Kuczynski’s disapproval rating sits at 81 percent, one point behind the disapproval rating of the Peruvian Congress.
Kuczynski is the third of four recent Peruvian presidents to be implicated in the Odebrecht scandals— perhaps telling of the corruption that currently plagues Peru and looms over all of Latin America.
According to the New York Times, analysts grow increasingly concerned over the political turmoil throughout Latin America, especially as it has manifested in a country with such economic instability as Peru.
Michael Shifter, the president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a policy group in Washington said, “Peru has been a puzzle and a paradox — it’s been such an economic performer, but [with] such weak political institutions.”