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Cabinet of reconciliation in the works, Peru’s Kuczynski says

Relatives of victims during the Government of former president Alberto Fujimori, who was sentenced for human rights violations, participate in a press conference held at the headquarters of the National Coordinator of Human Rights in Lima, Peru, 27 December 2017. The group protests against the pardon current President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski granted to former president Alberto Fujimori, which exempts him from completing a 25-year prison sentence for human rights violations. EPA/Ernesto Arias

Lima, Dec 27 (EFE).- The president of Peru announced Wednesday that he is working on the formation of a new cabinet of “reconciliation,” after an unsuccessful attempt in Congress to impeach him and the pardon subsequently granted to former President Alberto Fujimori that sparked off a political crisis across the country.

In a message on his Twitter account, Peruvian president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said that he is working on this task with Prime Minister Mercedes Araoz.

“I am working with PM @MecheAF in our new cabinet of reconciliation. The news will come very soon,” he wrote.

Araoz on Wednesday voiced her firm support for Kuczynski after the pardon was granted on Dec. 24 for humanitarian reasons to Fujimori, who was serving a 25-year prison sentence for crimes against humanity.

The prime minister also said that Kuczynski has assured his confidence in this matter, adding that “some ministers have decided to step aside” so as to “reach a situation of accurate reconciliation.”

Police protect the clinic where Alberto Fujimori remains hospitalized, in the city of Lima, Peru, 26 December 2017. Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski granted a medical pardon to jailed former president Alberto Fujimori, who was serving a 25-year prison sentence for human rights abuses. EPA/Ernesto Arias

The ministers who have already resigned are Interior Minister Carlos Basombrio and Culture Minister Salvador del Solar.

Basombrio tendered his resignation last week in the middle of the request for impeachment against Kuczynski in Congress, following the disclosure of the president’s alleged ties with the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, while Del Solar on Wednesday joined other officials and advisers who resigned after Fujimori’s pardoning.

The Peruvian president on Wednesday fulfilled his first official activity after announcing the pardon to Fujimori on Sunday, and took an oath of former director of the National Police, Vicente Romero, as the new interior minister, replacing Basombrio.

Kuczynski signed the pardon for Fujimori, 79, only three days after he narrowly survived an impeachment vote by Congress, thanks to the 10 votes from Fujimori’s party, led by Kenji Fujimori, son of the former president, who had called on several occasions for his father to be pardoned.

Fujimori was sentenced in 2009 to 25 years in prison for his responsibility in the massacres of 25 people in Barrios Altos in 1991 and La Cantuta in 1992, perpetrated by the undercover military group Colina, and the kidnapping of a journalist and a businessman in 1992.

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