There is no reality TV show on the planet that has as many dramatic, attention-grabbing turns as what Peruvians have been forced to watch unfold this week from the office of the presidency.
After a roller coaster set of days that has seen President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski been accused of buying votes to avoid impeachment, then suddenly resign Wednesday, the 79-year-old Kuczynski announced Friday morning he could withdraw his resignation if Congress decides to dismiss him.
“The Congressional Legislative Resolution’s proposal that tries to present this as a dismissal and not a resignation is unacceptable,” Kuczynski tweeted on Friday morning. “With that in mind, I will withdraw my resignation letter and submit myself to the normal procedure for dismissal where I will exercise my right of defense.”
Inaceptable la propuesta de Resolución Legislativa del Congreso que intenta presentar como vacancia una renuncia. De ser así retiro mi carta y me someto al procedimiento regular de vacancia donde ejerceré mi derecho de defensa.
— PedroPablo Kuczynski (@ppkamigo) March 23, 2018
Kuczynski’s statement comes after news local Spanish-language outlets began reporting that Congress may include in his resignation that he was a “traitor of the people,” according to Peru’s Gestión.
First Vice President Martín Vizcarra flew into Peru late Thursday and is set to be officially sworn in later today to replace Kuczynski. Relations between the two men have soured lately, dating back to Kuczynski’s initial impeachment vote when Vizcarra contradicted his president by saying he would not step down if Kuczynski was impeached.
If Kuczynski does not back down from this sudden withdrawal, it would take a Congressional vote similar to the impeachment vote that had already been planned for Thursday. Eighty-seven Congressional votes are needed to dismiss the President. Considering that the legislature is stacked with opposition members and Kuczynski has already announced his resignation publically, it seems an inevitability that 87 of 130 lawmakers would vote to oust him.