LIMA (Reuters) – A majority of Peruvians want President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to resign or be forced from office by Congress, according to a poll by Ipsos published in a local newspaper on Sunday.
Kuczynski narrowly survived an impeachment bid in December but opposition lawmakers are making a new push to unseat the center-right leader over his ties to a Brazilian company at the heart of a massive Latin American-wide graft scandal.
The Ipsos poll, published by the newspaper El Comercio, found that 58 percent of Peruvians want Kuczynski to be impeached by Congress, versus 37 percent who would rather he continue in power.
A similar number would also be happy if he went voluntarily, instead – 56 percent want him to resign so Vice President Martin Vizcarra can govern the country, compared to 40 percent who think Kuczynski should finish his term as scheduled in 2021, the poll showed.
Kuczynski has repeatedly denied anything improper or illegal about payments his consulting firm received from the Brazilian company, Odebrecht, when he was a government minister more than a decade ago.
Kuczynski said the new impeachment motion unveiled by lawmakers this week makes Peru look “ridiculous” as it prepares to host the Summit of the Americas on April 13-14, a gathering of the region’s leaders.
“I’m going to defend myself and I won’t resign because I haven’t done anything” wrong, Kuczynski told a crowd of supporters on Friday.
The new impeachment vote will be scheduled after Kuczynski speaks to a congressional investigative committee about his connections to Odebrecht on March 16.
Kuczynski’s approval rating remained at 19 percent for a second straight month while disapproval of his presidency inched up to 76 percent, the Ipsos poll found.
The poll of 1,254 Peruvian adults was taken March 7-9 and had a 2.8 percentage point margin of error.
(Reporting By Mitra Taj, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)