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News > Latin America

Peru's President Kuczynski Faces Vote Buying Probe in Congress

  • Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski participates in an event to present a balance of Peru's exports during 2017 in Lima, Peru March 13, 2018

    Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski participates in an event to present a balance of Peru's exports during 2017 in Lima, Peru March 13, 2018 | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 March 2018

The Peruvian Foreign Minister says Congress is looking to oust President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, which she says will "complicate" the Summit of the Americas to take place in Lima in April.

Legislators in the Peruvian Congress engaged in accusations on Tuesday of "buying" votes that could define the future of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who will face a new request for dismissal this week. 

Legislators from the largest opposition group, Fuerza Popular, that of former presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori, accused that dissidents from their party are offering public works programs in exchange for rejecting the presidential impeachment.

 Peru: Congress Seeking to Dismiss Kuczynski

The 130-member Congress requires at least 87 votes to approve the impeachment of Kuczynski, who eluded back in December - with 79 votes - the dismissal thanks to the support of a group of legislators led by Keiko Fujimori's younger brother.

Moisés Mamani, of Fuerza Popular, told reporters "Firstly, I want to speak to all Peruvians to say that there was corruption in December in the impeachment process. They (government) sent officials to me so that I can change my vote so that there is no impeachment. This offended me a lot and that is why I voted for impeachment. Regarding this I didn't have sufficient proof, today I have evidence which proves that the government bought off Congress members to stay in power. This evidence has been handed to the spokesperson of my party so that he can carry out the necessary steps. The executive (branch) cannot negotiate the votes of Congress members in exchange for public works paid for by Peruvians."

Representatives of two left parties, with 20 legislators, have announced their vote in favor of the presidential impeachment. Six others from other parties have expressed support for the dismissal. The rest have said they would expect to hear Kuczynski's defense on Thursday to define their vote.

Mamani accused his colleague Bienvenido Ramírez, one of the dissident legislators, of offering votes in exchange for public works for his region of Puno, a poor area on the border with Bolivia.

Ramírez, immediately rejected the accusations of buying votes. "They are going into despair because they know they will not get the votes for the impeachment," he told reporters.

Consulted on the subject, Kuczynski rejected that the Government is promoting a supposed purchase of votes. "I'm calm (...), those are tales," Kuczynski told reporters in a public activity.

In spite of Kuczynkis's confidence the President of the Peruvian Congress, Luis Galarreta Velarde has called via Twitter an urgent meeting of all the spokespersons from each of the parliamentary groups, to evaluate and determine the corresponding legal and constitutional actions, against the serious accusations against Kuczynski, a meeting to be held tomorrow morning. The video at the bottom was part of the evidence presented. 

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