Fujimori feud leads to rift

3 February 2018

After weeks of speculation, Kenji Fujimori has finally broken ranks with his sister’s Fuerza Popular (FP) party. The decision by Kenji and nine other members of the largest party in Congress not to back the motion to impeach President Kuzynski, defying a three-line whip, led to the disciplinary proceedings. Strong personal attacks against some Congress members were reported.

Congressman Bienvenido Ramirez was the first to be expelled, and soon after Kenji Fujimori decided to follow suit by resigning. Other members of his so-called ‘Avengers’ grouping then did likewise. They have vowed to establish their own group in Congress.

With the exception of Kenji, the Avengers were not stalwart members of FP, having been invited to participate in the elections under the FP wrapper. All are from the provinces. They felt that they were not given a voice within FP, where a small group close to Keiko dubbed the ‘mototaxi’ hold sway.

This is bad news for Keiko, as her party will no longer have an absolute majority in Congress. Its number of seats falls from 71 to 61, out of a total 130.

Not surprisingly, it has been welcomed by President Kuczynski’s Peruanos por el Kambio (PPK) whose number in Congress has now dropped from 18 to 15. Juan Sheput, PPK’s official spokesman, says it will make governing easier.

Kenji’s main aim is to ensure that his father’s pardon is not revoked. PPK members of Congress want to ensure the president remains in post, faced with two new motions for his impeachment presented by the leftist Frente Amplio and Nuevo Perú.

As new evidence emerges about Kuczynski’s business dealings with Odebrecht, doubts as to his ability to survive another impeachment attempt grow. The evidence produced by Jorge Barata, Odebrecht’s former representative in Lima, could prove decisive. This is expected to be delivered later this month.

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