Peru's President Kuczynski avoids impeachment

Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski survived a bid to impeach him on  Thursday.

Story highlights

  • Votes in favor of the impeachment fell short
  • Two ex-Peruvian presidents have been accused of corruption

(CNN)Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski will remain in office after Congress fell short of the votes needed for his impeachment Thursday.

Kuczynski is the latest Latin American leader to be engulfed in a wave of corruption investigations stemming from the largest bribery scandal in modern history.
The debate over whether he should stay in office followed allegations that he accepted bribes when he served as the country's finance minister and later its prime minister.
    Lawmakers debated for hours and then held a motion Thursday night on whether to impeach Kuczynski.
    For impeachment to pass, 87 of the 130 congressional leaders -- two-thirds -- needed to vote in favor but only 79 voted in favor of Kuczynski's removal.
    Hours before the vote, Kuczynski defended himself before Congress, making a forceful case for his innocence. In a radio interview the 79-year-old insisted he wouldn't be removed from office.
    "Congress isn't going to remove me, they don't have the 87 votes," required for impeachment, Kuczynski told Colombia's Blu Radio on Thursday morning.
    And in a defiant televised address last week he said, "I am here to show my face. I do not run, nor do I hide or have any motive to do so."

    Company at center of Brazil corruption scandal

    Peruvian lawmakers decided to move forward with proceedings to impeach Kuczynski last week.
    Opposition lawmakers revealed $782,000 in previously undisclosed payments from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht to Kuczynski's two consulting firms between 2004 and 2006 when he was Peru's finance minister and prime minister.
    Odebrecht continued paying advisory fees to the firms, Westfield Capital and First Capital, until 2012, well after Kuczynski left public office and before his presidential campaign in 2016. In total, Odebrecht paid Kuczynski's firms $4.8 million in advisory fees from 2004 and 2012.
    Kuczynski has acknowledged hi