Embattled President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has offered his resignation to Peru’s congress ahead of a scheduled vote on whether to impeach the former Wall Street investor on corruption charges, according to a presidential aide.
Mr Kuczynski announced his decision in a televised address to the nation.
If congress accepts the resignation, power would transfer to Vice President Martin Vizcarra, who is serving as Peru’s ambassador to Canada.
Pressure has been building on Mr Kuczynski to resign after the shock revelation on Tuesday of secretly-shot videos in which several of the president’s allies were caught allegedly trying to buy the support of a politician to block the conservative leader’s impeachment.
The videos deepened a bitter political crisis playing out just three weeks before US President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit Peru for a regional summit.
The videos presented by the main opposition party purportedly show attempts by Mr Kuczynski’s lawyer, a government official, and the son of former strongman Alberto Fujimori, trying to convince the politician to back the president in exchange for a hand in state contracts in his district.
Kenji Fujimori led a group of rebellious lawmakers in December who defied his sister Keiko’s leadership of the Popular Force party to narrowly block Mr Kuczynski’s removal.
Days later, Mr Kuczynski pardoned the feuding siblings’ father from a 25-year jail sentence for human rights abuses committed during his decade-long presidency.
A new impeachment vote is scheduled to take place on Thursday and Mr Kuczynski had once again been scrambling for support — a task made harder by the release of the videos, which fuelled calls from some of Kuczynski’s allies and members of his cabinet for the president to immediately resign.