Congress convenes to debate whether to impeach President Pedro Kuczynski for “moral incapacity” after Odebrecht corruption scandal.
Peru’s Congress will today decide whether to impeach President Pedro Kuczynski for “moral incapacity” in connection with the sprawling Odebrecht corruption scandal which has engulfed numerous elected officials in Latin America.
The Congressional Commission investigating the Odebrecht construction giant revealed the premier had received payments from the firm when he was a state minister. The payments were made to Westfield Capital Ltd, a company owned by Kuczynski.
Before going to Congress, Kuczynski – who denies any wrongdoing – warned: “The Constitution and democracy are under attack. We face a coup disguised as legal interpretation that’s supposedly legal, but our opposition’s intentions are unmasked for their rushed and abusive behaviour.”
In his defense, Kuczynski claimed that when he became a minister he decided to “establish a wall” between his public functions and Westfield and, for that reason, he did not know about the company’s contracts.
He also pointed out that Odebrecht’s payment to Westfield contitutes a minor income and claimed that both Sepúlveda, chilean businessman and Westfield executive, and Odebrecht have denied that Kuczynski had anything to with the contract.
During his defense, Kuczynski told Congress: “Don’t allow them to confuse you,” warning legislators that “democracy is at stake” and “people don’t forget nor do they forgive.”
Kuczynski runs the risk of becoing the first ousted president in the Odebrecht corruption scheme: the highest-ranking public official to be toppled in the scandal.
The Brazilian construction company has already admitted paying millions of dollars in bribes to secure important public-works contracts across Latin America.