Latin America

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski: Under fire Peru president resigns

Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has offered his resignation after being implicated in a vote-buying scandal.

In an address to the nation, Mr Kuczynski denied wrongdoing but said he did not want to be an "obstacle" in the country's development.

He had been facing an impeachment vote on Thursday.

Pressure has been growing after footage emerged of his allies offering opposition politicians financial rewards if they backed him in the vote.

Mr Kuczynski, 79, survived a separate impeachment vote in December.

His opponents wanted to remove him for allegedly receiving illegal payments from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

But he held onto power by a slim margin and accused the opposition of trying to stage a coup.

Kuczynski 'categorically rejects' allegations

In his address, Mr Kuczynski said the video footage had been edited to incriminate him.

"The opposition has tried to paint me as a corrupt person and they have managed to influence a group of reasonable and honest workers around me, getting them unfairly involved in this plot to destroy the government," he said.

"I categorically reject these unsubstantiated claims and reaffirm my commitment to an honest, moral and fair Peru for everyone."

Mr Kuczynski is a former Wall Street banker who studied at the University of Oxford. He narrowly won power in the 2016 presidential election.

His resignation will be voted on in Congress on Thursday.

It is unclear though if Congress, which is controlled by the opposition, will accept Mr Kuczynski's resignation or simply continue with the impeachment vote as planned.

According to the Peruvian Constitution, first Vice-President Martin Vizcarra will become acting president in his place.

Original Article

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