Peruvian President Offers Resignation After Video Released

Published: 22 March 2018

By Katarina Sabados

Peruvian president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has resigned following the release of secret recordings which implicate him in a new corruption scandal the day before a scheduled impeachment vote for his role in the largest corruption scandal in Latin American history, the Guardian reported Thursday.

Kuczynski is the first sitting president implicated in the Odebrecht corruption scandal to step down. He is accused of hiding his ties to the Brazilian construction firm, a scandal he was almost impeached for in late 2017.

Kuczynski has also admitted to using offshore firms for tax evasion purposes.

According to U.S. Justice Department documents, Odebrecht paid US$29million in bribes to Peruvian nationals over the span of 10 years during which Kuczynski served as Prime Minister. 

The second impeachment vote, which was scheduled for Thursday, was to decide whether the conservative leader is morally unfit to serve the country. However, on Wednesday night the opposition party Fuerza Popular released videos showing a Kuczynski official explaining to a lawmaker how to make easy money from public work projects while congressman Kenji Fujimori badgers and accuses him of government protection.

All involved have denied wrongdoing rejecting the claim that projects were awarded in exchange for political power, and the government has promised to dismiss the unnamed official.

Although Kuczynski himself was not on the recording, his previous corruption woes have made him unpopular among congress and the Peruvian people.

The congress has yet to decide whether to accept the resignation or proceed with an impeachment vote to force Kuczynski out of office.