Alberto Otárola: Peru’s Prime Minister resigns after Recording with Lady Leaks

Peru’s Prime Minister Alberto Otárola has stepped down following accusations of using his position to assist a woman in securing profitable government deals.

Last week, the scandal intensified as a Peruvian TV station broadcasted audio recordings of alleged conversations between the two individuals.

Mr Otárola, aged 57, has refuted any allegations of misconduct.

An official inquiry has been initiated to look into the accusations.

As reported by the Panorama programme, the woman Mr. Otárola is speaking to in the clips is Yaziré Pinedo, 25.

Ms Pinedo allegedly received two contracts for work in the defence ministry in 2023, bringing in a total of 53,000 sol ($14,000; £11,000).

Mr Otárola served as Peru’s defence minister until the end of 2022, when President Dina Boluarte took office and he was promoted.

In the audio recordings, Mr. Otárola expresses his affection for the woman and requests her CV.

It seems like the comments are conflicting with a previous statement he made about only meeting Ms. Pinedo once at a meeting.

On Tuesday, she shared with Peruvian broadcaster Canal N that she had a short-lived relationship with him in the past.

Both individuals stated that the audio recordings were from discussions in 2021, prior to Mr. Otárola assuming the role of a cabinet minister.

However, President Boluarte insisted that he return early from an official visit to Canada, which led to his resignation.

“Those who have always wanted me out of the government… have not even hesitated to edit an audio with the veiled purpose of tarnishing my image,” Mr Otárola said in his resignation speech.

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One individual he has accused of being involved in a scheme to discredit him is former Prime Minister Martín Vizcarra, who stated on social media that he “strongly rejected” the “delusional accusations”.

Peruvian law requires all 18 members of Peru’s cabinet to submit their resignations, which the president can choose to accept or reject.

Peru’s government is accustomed to changes – Ms Boluarte has made multiple cabinet reshuffles since assuming power in an effort to address opposition to her leadership.

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