On Thursday, the Peruvian government agency Registro Nacional de Identificación y Estado Civil (National Identification and Civil Status Registry –RENIEC) finished validating over 400,000 signatures supporting a referendum to recall the mayor of Lima, Susana Villarán.
Villarán, the first woman to take office as mayor of Lima in January 2011, has received extensive criticism for the launch of a new wholesale marketplace that opened on September 23.
The backlash against Villarán started when she announced plans to relocate merchants of La Parada and La Victoria markets to the new wholesale market of Santa Anita. Merchants were not content with the new market and began violent protests against the mayor’s initiative in La Parada marketplace. Lima’s public transportation was forced to bypass two central metro stops for the safety of the passengers.
With the signatures validated Thursday, Lima’s Jurado Nacional de Elecciones (National Elections Board—JNE) can now announce a citywide recall referendum. The elections board will have 90 days to set a date for the referendum.
If Mayor Villarán is removed from office, her successor would be city councilman Fidel Gregorio Ríos Alarcón. The new mayor would serve until December 2014.