Peru’s Vice President would not step down if President Kuczynski is impeached

By March 14, 2018

If President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is impeached following constant pressure from the opposition over his supposed ties to the Odebrecht scandal, it looks as though his Vice President would assume power in lieu of bowing out to special elections.

The news that comes from a Wednesday Reuters report means Vice President Martin Vizcarra would be named President of Peru in case of impeachment per the country’s Constitution, despite calls from opposition party leaders that Vizcarra should resign out of good faith. If both he and the second Vice President chose to step down, there would be special elections held to decide the country’s next leader, according to Reuters.

An Ipsos poll published Sunday in Peru shows that the majority of Peruvians are in favor of Kuczynski’s impeachment. In that same tally, 56 percent of those polled said they would prefer a Vizcarra presidency to the former Wall Street banker Kuczynski.

Though a December vote failed by just a few votes to boot the 79-year-old from office less than two years into his term, a new vote was offered up by the opposition party last week.

Recently Kuczynski found himself again involved with the wide-reaching Odebrecht corruption scandal when a former executive for the Brazilian engineering firm said he donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kuczynski’s failed 2011 presidential campaign.

The President has denied receiving any such payment, though he had admitted previously that he worked as an advisor on an Odebrecht project. In the midst of U.S. investigations into the massive web of corruption, Odebrecht officials said they paid $30 million in bribes to Peru authorities over the years.