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Peru’s President Refuses to Step Down


Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski attends a ceremony at the Air Force base in Lima, Peru, Dec. 14, 2017.

Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is vowing to fight on amid calls for his resignation over decade-old payments his consulting business received from a Brazilian firm at the heart of Latin America’s biggest graft scandal.

In a televised address shortly before midnight Thursday, Kuczynski said he had no role in management of his firm Westfield Capital when it received nearly $800,000 in payments from Odebrecht-led consortiums between 2004 and 2007. At the time he was serving as finance chief and prime minister in a previous government.

Surrounded by his Cabinet, Kuczynski said corruption in Peru is systemic but he would defend his honor and not be pushed out by his political rivals.

Kuczynski’s explanation for the large payments comes as Peru’s two biggest parties have called for his resignation.

Before revelations this week of the payment Kuczynski has repeatedly denied any ties to Odebrecht.

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