It took 52 votes from the 130-member Congress to approve the impeachment proceedings, and 87 votes were needed to remove Viscarra from office. 65 people voted on Friday, 36 against and 24 abstained.
The question of removing Viscarra from office should be discussed and put to a vote next week.
In a comment to journalists on Friday, the head of state called it "a conspiracy to destabilize the government."
The MPs decided to initiate the process of impeachment of the president after audio recordings compromising him were leaked to the press. In them, Viscarra has private conversations with government officials about meetings with little-known singer Richard Cisneros, who is involved in a fraud case.
Legislators in the Peruvian Congress listened to the tapes.
As it turned out, the singer Cisneros, also known as Richard Swing, received government contracts for motivational lectures in the amount of 175,400 soles (49,500 dollars). The receipt of this money, along with claims of ties to the president, is being investigated by Congress and Peru's auditor general.
Viscarra vowed not to leave office. He took over as head of state two years ago following the resignation of former President Pedro Pablo Kuchinsky over corruption allegations. Last September, Viscarra rejected a previous attempt to prosecute him for insolvency and dissolved the Congress.
Peru's presidential elections are due next year, but Viscarra has already announced that he would not tun anymore.