Peru President Announces Resignation In TV address

Peru's President Kuczynski Tenders Resignation, Promises Constitutional Transition

Peru's President Kuczynski Tenders Resignation, Promises Constitutional Transition

Odebrecht, the huge Brazilian construction firm now mired in scandal across the continent, was at the heart of the first impeachment attempt in December against Kuczynski.

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.

Kuczynski denied those allegations Wednesday, asserting that the footage was selectively edited and pushed by his political rivals - foremost among them Keiko Fujimori, prominent opposition politician and daughter of former strongman Alberto Fujimori, who was himself voted out of office in 2000 and pardoned by Kuczynski of human rights crimes late past year.

In December he pardoned former President Alberto Fujimori from jail in an apparent deal with lawmakers to avoid an impeachment.

Embattled Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (also known by his initials PPK) tendered his resignation on Wednesday, after several videos disclosed by the opposition party showed his allies attempting to buy votes from lawmakers to avert an impeachment motion due Thursday, local media reported.

He added, "I don't want to block the path of harmony that the nation so badly needs and which was denied to me".

The company became embroiled in a political scandal after admitting to paying more than $788m in bribes to win construction contracts across 12 countries, including Argentina, Mexico and Venezuela.

Peru's President Kuczynski Tenders Resignation, Promises Constitutional Transition

Lawmakers agreed to accept Kuczynski's resignation instead of moving forward with a vote scheduled for Thursday on whether to oust him on grounds he was "morally unfit" to govern, said the president of congress, Luis Galarreta.

Beyond the conservative leader's departure, the outlook is uncertain, with many Peruvians expressing disgust with their entire political class - not just Kuczynski, but also his accusers, led by Fujimori's daughter Keiko. There will always be fearless and worthy Peruvians who are not for sale. Within hours the opposition was able to count 102 votes in their favor, including lawmakers in Kuczynski's own party.

His resignation comes a few weeks before Kuczynski was due to host the Summit of the Americas in Lima, where US President Donald Trump and others leaders of the Western Hemisphere are expected April 13-14.

The pardon came 3 days after Kuczynski narrowly escaped impeachment over a corruption allegation.

"The opposition has tried to depict me as a corrupt person", Kuczynski said in a pre-recorded video message to the nation that broadcast as he left the presidential palace.

Odebrecht said it paid five million dollars in fees to companies linked to Kuczynski when he was Peru's economy minister, under Toledo.

Odebrecht has admitted spending millions to bribe government officials across Latin America to secure public works contracts.

Deep-freeze CONTINUES: Weather forecast shows Britain heading for more Arctic temperatures
For the rest of the week will see spells of rain and stregthening winds, although with temperatures recovering closer to average. It's an icy start for many this morning, with lying snow in many areas from the weekend's return of the Beast From The East .

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