Embattled Peruvian president names ‘reconciliation Cabinet’

LIMA, Peru (AP) – President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski swore in new Cabinet ministers Tuesday, saying he will seek to bring reconciliation in Peru following his close brush with impeachment and controversial pardon of a former president convicted of human rights abuses.

The embattled president replaced nearly half of his 19-member Cabinet with new leaders from the public and private sector, though no one was named from the opposition party that spearheaded the impeachment campaign in December.

“Perhaps reconciliation is a difficult objective to achieve, but I promise I will not cease for one second in my efforts to obtain it,” Kuczynski said in a speech following the swearing-in ceremony. The new appointments come during one of this Andean nation’s most politically turbulent moments in nearly two decades.

Kuczynski narrowly escaped impeachment after opposition lawmakers revealed that his private consulting business had received payments from the Brazilian construction company at the centre of Latin America’s largest corruption scandal while he was as a high-ranking Cabinet minister.

Days later he gave a medical pardon that freed former President Alberto Fujimori less than halfway through his 25-year prison sentence, sparking nationwide protests.