Peru’s new President Martin Vizcarra took the oath of office on 23 March 2018, pledging to take a strong stance against corruption in government. Kuczynski’s fall from grace should mark “the start of a new era.
Vizcarra, who was vice president until scandal-hit Pedro Pablo Kuczynski handed in his resignation as president on 28 March 2018, also called for national unity. “We will be very firm in combating actions that go against the law, no matter where, no matter what the cost, with a steady hand,” Xinhua quoted Vizcarra as saying in his first national address after being sworn in by the head of parliament.
The vote officially left the top office vacant, paving the way for Vizcarra’s swearing in, though there was little doubt that the majority of legislators would accept Kuczynski’s departure. Kuczynski was accused of accepting bribes from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht when he was minister in the first half of the 2000s, with payments made to a U.S.-based consulting firm that he owned.
Kuczynski, who took office in July 2016, survived one impeachment vote in December 2017 and was about to undergo a second vote on 29 March 2018, but videos surfaced appearing to show his political allies trying to buy legislative votes in his favor.