Peru's new president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, has launched a national fitness campaign with an exercise session of his entire cabinet in the courtyard in front of the presidential palace in Lima.
The 77-year-old Kuczynski danced, bounced, and struggled to touch his toes to electronic music. He was obviously more at home when talking to reporters later, even reaching for his classical education.
"Mens sana in corpore sano, as the Latin proverb says" Kuczynski said, without providing a translation, perhaps cementing his elitist image even as he proved he is not afraid of not looking cool. "We truly want to promote health."
The president, known widely as PPK, said the routine would be repeated before every Wednesday meeting of his largely male and somewhat chubby cabinet, which is dominated by Ivy League graduates like him.
Video by Reuters
Although undernourishment remains an issue in Peru, the country is now also one of the heaviest in Latin America. According to figures from the Peruvian health ministry, three out of five adults between 30 and 59 years old are overweight. The same goes for one out of four children aged between five and nine.
The presidential exercise routine was controversial nonetheless, with PPK's political opponents criticizing everything from the area picked to exercise to the clothes worn.
"It's good for PPK and his ministers to exercise, but the fact that they are using mostly Adidas and Nike is not a good example," tweeted congressional deputy Karina Beteta Rubín. "How are they going to promote brands from Peru if they exercise in foreign gear."
Beteta represents the party of Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of former strongman Alberto Fujimori who governed Peru with an iron hand in the 1990s, and who PPK beat by just 0.2 percent in elections in June.
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