Peru president wins confidence motion over reforms

Lima (AFP) –


Peru's President Martin Vizcarra scored an important victory for his government's tough anti-corruption policies Wednesday by winning a vote of confidence in the opposition-controlled Congress.

Vizcarra -- who succeeded disgraced ex-president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski a year ago --won by 77 votes to 44 with three abstentions, Congress speaker Daniel Salaverry announced.

Vizcarra had threatened to dissolve parliament and force new elections unless lawmakers backed his anti-graft proposals.

Kuczynski stepped down last year following allegations of bribe-taking as part of the continent-wide Odebrecht corruption scandal that has embroiled three other Peruvian former presidents.

Prime Minister Salvador del Solar defended the proposed reforms on Tuesday at the start of a 15-hour confidence debate that resumed Wednesday.

"It is urgent to save democracy from corruption. It is urgent to prevent people who are guilty of criminal offenses from representing us," he said.

"We have to encourage citizens with a vocation to participate in politics, so that Peruvians can trust the authorities."