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Lima's mayor survives recall, but weakened

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March 18, 2013 05:21 PM EST | AP


LIMA, Peru — Incomplete official results show that the first female mayor of Peru's capital has narrowly survived a recall election but many of her closest allies on the city council have been voted out of office.

With 40 percent of the vote counted, Lima residents voting to keep Mayor Susana Villaran in office accounted for 51.6 percent of the valid ballots cast on Sunday. Exit polls late Sunday showed her winning with about 53 percent support.

Villaran's detractors accused her of being inept and inefficient, of lagging in public works projects.

But the mayor called the recall an attempt by powerful interests to hold on to lucrative municipal contracts.

The 63-year-old career human rights advocate has fought to bring order into Lima's chaotic, corruption-ridden public transit system.