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    A supporter of former President Alberto Fujimori wears a jacket that says in Spanish Free Fujimori outside the clinic where the jailed leader was admitted the previous day after suffering a drop in blood pressure in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017. The former strongman, who governed from 1990 to 2000, is a polarizing figure in Peru. Some Peruvians laud him for defeating the Maoist Shining Path guerrillas, while others loathe him for human rights violations carried out under his government. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

    Amnesty of Ex-President is 'Exchange of Courtesies' With Peruvian Opposition

    © AP Photo/ Martin Mejia
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    The decision by Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to pardon Alberto Fujimori, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2009, has raised questions, David Sulmont, a professor at Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, told Sputnik, dubbing the move "an exchange of courtesies" between the incumbent leader and Fujimori supporters.

    The amnesty granted to former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori by the current leader of the country, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, is an exchange of civilities, not a transparent process, political scientist David Sulmont, a professor at Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, told Sputnik Mundo.

    "The speed at which this step was taken indicates a lack of transparency," Sulmont said. "This is a political decision, the result of an exchange of courtesies, which prompted outrage among opponents of the pardon."

    On December 24 Kuchinsky pardoned Fujimori, who was serving a 25-year prison term for corruption, human rights violations and the killing of civilians. According to the presidential administration, the former president was released for health reasons.

    This happened after Kuczynski managed to survive the impeachment vote proposed by the hard-right Popular Force party, led by Fujimori's daughter Keiko. However, the very same party then saved the president from being ousted: almost ten Fujimori supporters including Alberto Fujimori's son, Kenji, abstained from the vote at the last minute instead of supporting the measure.

    The fact that the amnesty was granted to the former Peruvian president three days after the impeachment vote is hardly a coincidence, Sulmont believes.

    "Negotiations were held," the political scientist suggested, insisting that the process could be more transparent.

    According to Sulmont, Kuczynski's sudden change of heart may result in the recognition of the decision as illegal.

    The academic recalled that the incumbent president is seeking to bolster the stability of his government and is trying to get closer to the Fujimori faction Popular Force.

    Sulmont believes that Fujimori's pardon won't lead to the removal of the Kuczynski government but will provoke "a final break with some factions which reluctantly supported the president in the second round of elections against Keiko Fujimori and did not allow his ouster several day ago" in the country's Congress.

    During the impeachment vote, 78 representatives out of 130 supported the bid while 19 were against. The numbers fell short of the necessary 87 votes to impeach Kuczynski.

    Fujimori's pardon inflicted losses on Kuczynski's cabinet, as three congressmen announced their resignation: Alberto de Belaunde, Vicente Zeballos, Gino Costa.

    "I respect the decision of the president of the Republic to grant the pardon [to Fujimori], but I do not approve of the way it was implemented. I regret that I must declare that in the next few days I will officially depart from Peruanos Por el Kambio (the Kuczynski-led party)," Costa wrote in his Twitter account on December 25.

    ​According to Sulmont, opponents of Fujimori will boost their positions in the near future. However, the political scientist is not sure whether they will be able to achieve sustainability.

    Fujimori was in office from 1990 to 2000. The former president was accused of corruption and crimes against humanity, including ordering massacres by death squads in 2009 and sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment. The pardoning of the former leader of the country caused controversy within Peruvian society and provoked mass protests in Lima and other cities.

    The views and opinions expressed by David Sulmont are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    Tags:
    dictator, impeachment, amnesty, protests, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Alberto Fujimori, Latin America, Lima, Peru
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