Supporters of Mayor Susana Villaran plan to close their campaign on Thursday in the Plaza San Martin, located in downtown Lima. Organizers say they are hoping 20,000 people will attend the event, state news agency Andina reported.
“It will be, basically, a cultural event and we hope to fill up the Plaza San Martin,” said deputy mayor Eduardo Zegarra.
Zegarra said that Villaran will give a talk during the event, urging residents to vote against the referendum. Zegarra said that if Villaran is removed from office, Lima “is going to suffer a very complicated paralysis.”
On Wednesday evening, Lourdes Flores, Villaran’s contender in the 2010 elections, will head a campaign meeting in favor of Villaran at the Partido Popular Cristiano, PPC, headquarters on Av. Alfonso Ugarte. The PPC, which can influence the vote of pro-investment voters wary of Villaran’s socialist party, has fully backed Villaran and will be working with the mayor over the next two years of her administration.
Meanwhile, the promoters of the recall election will also close their campaign Thursday, but have said they won’t have a central meeting as previously expected. Opponents of Villaran had planned to meet in Campo de Marte, one of Lima’s biggest parks, located in the Jesus Maria district.
Residents in Lima, Peru’s largest city and home to some 9 million people, will vote on the future of Villaran and her council members on Sunday. Elected for a four-year term, she has just completed two years of her administration.
Supporters of the recall say she has been an ineffective manager of the city. The mayor’s allies, however, point to several of her reforms to clean up the city, and her success in securing the city’s investment grade and obtaining more than S/.7 billion in private investment for infrastructure projects, and openly accuse that the recall vote is being promoted by shadowy figures affected by Villaran’s efforts to curb corruption, particularly in the chaotic public transport system.
The latest polls show that Villaran is still trailing and may lose the referendum.