Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has summoned his Cabinet for an extraordinary meeting on Christmas Eve to discuss former President Alberto Fujimori’s request to be freed from prison, a government source told Reuters on Sunday. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.
Kuczynski’s spokeswoman confirmed that he was meeting with ministers but declined to explain the reason. It was unclear if there might be an announcement later, she added.
Fujimori was rushed to the hospital late on Saturday after suffering a severe drop in blood pressure and abnormal heart beat that put his life at risk, according to his doctor, who could not be reached on Sunday.
The Cabinet meeting comes just days after a faction of Fujimori’s supporters in the opposition-controlled Congress saved Kuczynski from a motion that would have forced him from office in the wake of a graft scandal.
Lawmakers with the opposition Popular Force had said that the government secured support for Kuczynski by promising to free Fujimori. Kuczynski’s government denies those allegations.
Maria Luisa Cuculiza, a friend and former minister of Fujimori, told Reuters that he was in stable condition on Sunday but his blood pressure was still low. She called for Kuczynski to pardon the ex-president, who is serving a 25-year sentence for graft and human rights crimes.
“He wants to be free. He wants peace and progress for the country. He doesn’t want to return to politics. He just wants to be a good grandfather. He just told me that,” Cuculiza told Reuters by phone after visiting Fujimori in the hospital.
Fujimori, who like Kuczynski is 79, is a deeply divisive figure in Peru. While many consider him a corrupt dictator, others credit him with ending an economic crisis and bloody leftist insurgency during his 1990-2000 term.