The inhabitants of a town оn Russia's Sakhalin island submitted a petition last week demanding their mayor's ouster, citing what they described as her incapacity to cope with the town's many pressing needs, news agency Interfax reported.
Over the course of 18 days, more than 7,000 people in the far eastern town of Korsakov joined the initiative, which was initially launched by 15 disgruntled residents.
The petition calls on Sakhalin's regional authorities to take action in response to mayor Lada Mudrova's failure to deal adequately with Korsakov's array of local problems, from disruptions to the local water supply to roads in desperate need of maintenance.
"We demand the dismissal of mayor Mudrova, her deputy Zinaida Karpova and other representatives of her staff," a resident who had signed the petition told Interfax. "In terms of managing the local economy and resolving problems, we consider the actions of the town's administration to be extremely ineffective and harmful to the town and its residents."
This isn't the first time allegations of professional inadequacy have surfaced against Mudrova. During a visit to Sakhalin in late June, deputy prime minister and presidential envoy to the far eastern federal district, Yury Trutnev, condemned her administration's work as "shameful," Interfax reported.
Shortly after Trutnev's visit, law enforcement officers raided Mudrova's office while she was away on vacation, confiscating various documents in the process, news agency Regnum reported earlier.
Upon her return, Mudrova told regional news site ASTV.ru that the petition and overall campaign against her were "linked" to the upcoming gubernatorial elections on the island.
She went on to vow that she would not resign. "That would amount to a confession of guilt. And I don't see why I should leave," she was quoted saying. "I have a clean conscience."