In December, Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski narrowly survived impeachment, but the apparent deal he made to win that vote came back to haunt him this week, and on Wednesday he offered his resignation in a televised address. "I don't want to be an obstacle for our nation as it finds the path to unity and harmony that it needs so much," Kuczynski said, before walking out of the presidential palace and getting into an SUV. Peru's Congress will decide Thursday whether to accept his resignation or impeach him. Next in line is Vice President Martín Vizcarra, who is also Peru's ambassador to Canada. It isn't clear if he is even in Peru.
Kuczynski, a 79-year-old former World Bank economist and Wall Street investor who narrowly beat Keiko Fujimori in 2016, survived the December impeachment vote after Fujimori's brother, Kenji Fujimori, broke with his sister and led a key bloc of allies to abstain. A few days later, Kuczynski pardoned their father, notorious former President Alberto Fujimori, ostensibly on health grounds. On Tuesday, a secret video from an ally of Keiko Fujimori showed Kenji, his allies, and allies of Kuczynski appearing to try to buy the support of an opposition lawmaker with promises of state contracts and kickbacks.
Kuczynski promised to restore Peru's economy and faith in its government, after years of corruption-tinged leftist governments. But now Peruvians are more disillusioned than ever. "The only public institution with moral authority left in Peru is the fire department," lawyer Oscar Mendoza told The Associated Press. "All the rest, when you touch them with your finger, puss comes out because they are fully corrupted by graft."