Simulated Votes Show Upward Trend for Mayor Villaran Support

Villaran - Mesa Redonda-2012A simulated vote by pollster Ipsos Apoyo found that support for Lima’s Mayor Susana Villaran has increased ahead of a recall vote next month, but she could still lose the referendum that would see her ousted from office early. She needs 50 percent plus one of the votes.

Ipsos Apoyo said that 42 percent of the valid votes cast would choose for Villaran to continue in her post, while 58 percent want her to be kicked out of office early. The referendum will be held on March 17.

Ipsos Apoyo surveyed 635 people on Feb. 13. It says that its simulated vote has a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points. The survey was conducted for a local television station and published in most of Peru’s newspapers on Monday.

Villaran has been credited with tackling several challenges in Lima, including a major plan to better modernize and organize public transport, and the successful relocation of the crime-ridden La Parada wholesale market to modern facilities on the outskirts at Santa Anita, a project that has been on the agenda for the past 40 years.

However she has also been heavily criticized. Opponents say she has been inefficient and mismanaged the municipality. But most analysts believe that the opposition is being driven by shady business owners and dealers who have a lot to lose with the city’s reforms, and by Lima’s former mayor, Luis Castañeda, who is facing an investigation into corruption allegations.

Another simulated vote released Sunday showed that Villaran could defeat the recall effort. Datum Internacional said that 51 percent of valid votes would support the referendum and 49 percent would back the mayor.

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