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    Peru's new President Martin Vizcarra waves to supporters after being sworn in at Congress in Lima, March 23, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 March 2018

PPK has threatened to withdraw his resignation from the presidency if Congress decides to proceed with impeachment proceedings against him.

Peru's Congress formally accepted the resignation of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (PPK) Friday, as First Vice-President Martin Vizcarra was sworn in as the country's new president.

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Peru: Kuczynski Threatens to 'Withdraw' His Resignation

Vizcarra, who is also Peru's ambassador to Canada, called for "faith and optimism" when he arrived in Peru on Thursday ahead of his midday swearing-in ceremony. 

On Friday morning, PPK threatened to withdraw his resignation from the presidency if Congress decides to proceed with impeachment proceedings against him.

In a message posted to his official Twitter account shortly after 8 a.m. Friday Kuczynski said the fact that Congress was considering a "legislative resolution" was "unacceptable."  

If this option was pursued, he said he would withdraw his resignation letter and "submit to the regular vacancy procedure where I exercise my right of defense."

Kuczynski translated message reads: "Unacceptable is the proposed legislative resolution of Congress which seeks to present a waiver as a vacancy. If it remains that way, I'll withdraw my (resignation) letter and submit myself to a proper impeachment process where I can exercise my defense."
 

Kuczynski, a former Wall Street banker, resigned Wednesday after accumulating multiple accusations of corruption. Reuters reported that it was unclear if Kuczynski could legally withdraw his resignation.

Vizcarra, sworn in at around midday Friday, called for "faith and optimism" when he arrived in the country Thursday: "Peru can always overcome."

However, left-wing political movement New Peru and half of Peru's voters believe Vizcarra should call for new elections instead of governing until 2021.

New Peru leader Veronika Mendoza believes Vizcarra should promote constitutional reform and call general elections at the earliest opportunity: "When we talk about new elections, we are talking about elections with new rules to ensure that those who led us to this crisis don't come back."

New Peru has widespread public support: a recent poll by GFK shows that 49 percent of Peruvians believe Kuczynski's two vice presidents should resign and that Congressional President Luis Galarreta should call new elections.

The poll, conducted between March 17 and 20, indicated that only 26 percent of the population supports Vizcarra as president, but sources close to Vizcarra claim he has no plans of stepping aside.

Peru's political crisis is not limited to the executive branch: the GFK poll also shows that 81 percent of Peruvians disapprove of Congress.

PPK resigned Wednesday after a video was made public showing his allies trying to buy congressional votes to help Kuczynski dodge his second impeachment attempt over corruption charges in connection with Brazil-based construction giant Odebrecht.

Peru's congress had already tried to oust him back in December after accusations had surfaced linking him to a corruption scandal related to Odebrecht firm, the Brazilian construction company that has admitted bribing senior officials all over Latin America in exchange of tempting contracts.

It is now accepted that Kuczynski had reached a deal with a dissident faction of the Fuerza Popular (Popular Force) opposition party, led by siblings Keiko and Kenji Fujimori to avoid impeachment. Keiko Fujimori

Kuczynski reportedly agreed to pardon former Peruvian dictator Alberto Fujimori, accused of human rights violations, in exchange of Kenji's faction abstaining from voting at a congress session that would've impeached him.


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