Europe Record number of Brazilians reject Rousseff, government

Record number of Brazilians reject Rousseff, government


President Dilma Rousseff
President Dilma Rousseff

(AA) — Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s unpopularity has reached new depths, and a majority of Brazilians back calls for her impeachment, according to a new poll released Monday.

A sagging economy and a vast corruption scandal at state-run oil giant Petrobras have helped to fuel disappointment with Rousseff and her ruling government.

According to a MDA poll, commissioned by the National Transport Confederation (CNT), 18.9 percent of respondents approved of the president, but 77.7 percent rejected Rousseff — considering her a “bad” or “terrible” leader for Brazil. 

Rousseff’s ruling government received an even worse approval rating, just 10.8 percent. An historic low of 64.8 percent disapproved of the government.

The worst-ever approval rating for a Brazilian government registered by the poll was that of former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso in 1999 — of just 8 percent, the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper reports.

A number of government figures, present and past, have been embroiled in the sprawling Petrobras corruption scandal, in which contracts with third parties were allegedly inflated and the difference pocketed and funneled to political parties. The Supreme Court has begun investigations of dozens of politicians, all but one from Rousseff’s ruling coalition, including the country’s two congressional leaders.

After mass protests last weekend saw hundreds of thousands of Brazilians take to the streets to call for the president’s ouster, more than 59 percent of those surveyed also said they favored impeaching Rousseff.

Pollsters said the survey “highlights the strong pessimism held by Brazilians in relation to governments.”

“The results show a clear fall in President Dilma Rousseff’s popularity and that of the government, in large part down to the deteriorating economic situation, higher inflation and cost of living, the risk of unemployment, worsening public services and corruption, which are strongly linked with the government and the president,” the MDA said in a report accompanying the poll.

Monday’s poll also asked which candidate respondents would vote for, were last year’s presidential elections held today. Of the 2,002 respondents in 137 cities nationwide, 55.7 percent would vote for the president’s main opponent, opposition leader Aécio Neves, who narrowly lost out in a second round runoff.

Just 16.6 percent said they would vote for Rousseff.

The MDA poll was conducted March 16-19.

A poll by the Datafolha polling institute published last week and conducted in the two days after protests also highlighted Rousseff’s government’s sliding popularity, with 62 percent of those surveyed voicing their disapproval. Thirteen percent said the government was doing a good job.

A previous CNT/MDA poll, conducted in September 2014 in the final weeks of President Rousseff’s successful re-election campaign, showed 41 percent approved of her government, while 23.5 percent disapproved.

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