LIMA, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra discounted the validity of the audios that allegedly link him to the misuse of government funds while speaking to Congress on Friday.
The Congress announced last week that it would open impeachment proceedings against the president according to the leaked audio recordings. Vizcarra might be removed from office if found guilty.
During his presentation at the plenary session of Congress, the president urged legislators to debate his impeachment while keeping in mind that the country is in the midst of a health crisis.
One of the countries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Peru has so far reported the world's fifth largest number of infections and the eighth biggest death toll, with 750,098 cases and 31,146 deaths respectively.
"Peru cannot come to a halt due to the content of some audios without any validity; the management of the pandemic and economic reactivation cannot be suspended," Vizcarra said.
The impeachment proceeding is centered on Vizcarra's relationship with a little-known singer Richard Cisneros and nearly 50,000 U.S. dollars in questionable contracts that the singer was given by the Ministry of Culture.
The audios were recorded by the president's former secretary Karem Roca.
Vizcarra said that it is up to the Peruvian justice system to clarify Roca's motive for illegally recording him.
After the president left Congress, Vizcarra's lawyer, Roberto Pereira, defended him before the plenary session, alleging that the impeachment proceedings were unfounded. Enditem