December 22, 2017 / 7:18 AM / 9 months ago

Peru president vowed to free Fujimori to win support: lawmaker

LIMA (Reuters) - A congresswoman in Peru said embattled President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski survived a vote in Congress to oust him by promising some opposition lawmakers that he would pardon the country’s jailed former authoritarian leader, Alberto Fujimori.

Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski makes final remarks to lawmakers of the opposition-ruled Congress, in Lima, Peru December 21, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

Cecilia Chacon, a lawmaker with the opposition party Popular Force, said the 10 abstentions by a faction in her party had helped defeat its bid to oust Kuczynski in the wake of a graft scandal, and that some of them had mentioned the promise. “That’s what they told us,” Chacon said in broadcast comments.

Earlier on Thursday, Kuczynski’s government denied it was negotiating a possible pardon for Fujimori in exchange for votes to save him. Kuczynski pulled off a surprise victory after the motion in Congress to oust him fell eight votes short of the 87 needed to pass.

Fujimori is serving a 25-year prison sentence for graft and human rights crimes during his 1990-2000 government.

Reporting By Mitra Taj; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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