Peruvian President Kuczynski resigns amid corruption probe

By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |  March 21, 2018 at 5:33 PM
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March 21 (UPI) -- Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski announced his resignation Wednesday amid an investigation into his connection to the Odebrecht corruption scandal.

Lawmakers have called on the president to step down for months after documents revealed Brazil-based Odebrecht paid $780,000 from 2004-07 to a consulting business set up by Kuczynski.

Last week, Kuczynski said he received a $700,000 payment from an Odebrect affiliate for contacts during a closed-door congressional hearing. The payment came between his time as prime minister and economy minister, and president, something critics said was a conflict of interest.

Even his prior supporters pushed him to resign in recent days amid allegations he attempted to reward members of Congress for their vote against his impeachment.

The 79-year-old is one of the highest-ranking politicians in Latin America to face downfall over the Odebrecht scandal. In a plea deal with the United States Justice Department last year, the construction firm acknowledged it paid nearly $800 million in bribes to secure infrastructure contracts, including $29 million to Peru during 2005 to 2014. The company was fined $2.6 billion over its role in the scandal.

Impeachment proceedings against Kuczynski were scheduled to begin Thursday.

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