Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski refuses to resign over corruption allegations

Despite lawmakers calling President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to step down for his connection with a corruption probe, he refused to resign on Thursday.

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of Peru looks on during a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House. Lawmakers on Thursday have called for Kuczynski to step down for his connection with a corruption probe but he refused to resign, denying the allegations. Pool Photo by Olivier Douliery/UPI | License Photo
President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of Peru looks on during a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House. Lawmakers on Thursday have called for Kuczynski to step down for his connection with a corruption probe but he refused to resign, denying the allegations. Pool Photo by Olivier Douliery/UPI | License Photo

Lawmakers said documents received from Brazil-based Odebrecht prove that before Kuczynski became president, from 2004 to 2007 the company paid $780,000 to a financial-consulting business set up by Kuczynski, the company’s sole director.

Kuczynski denies any contact with Odebrecht and refutes claims that he received money from the company while he was a government minister. The president also said he would allow investigators to examine his bank accounts.

During a video statement Thursday, Kuczynski acknowledged owning the company, Westfield Capital, but said a business partner dealt with Odebrecht contracts during that time.

“I’m not going to abdicate my honor, my values or my responsibilities as president of all Peruvians,” Kuczynski said. “I won’t run. I won’t hide. I have no reason to do so.”

In a plea deal with the United States Justice Department last year, Odebrecht 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.

Lawmakers from the Popular Force party said Kuczynski should immediately step aside; the Broad Front party said Congress should force the president out.

By Susan McFarland