News / Americas

Rousseff's Popularity Plummets With Brazil Protests

Defaced image of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff displayed in Belo Horizonte, June 24, 2013.
Defaced image of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff displayed in Belo Horizonte, June 24, 2013.
Reuters
President Dilma Rousseff's approval rating sank by 27 percentage points in the last three weeks, a poll showed on Saturday, the strongest evidence yet that the recent wave of street protests sweeping Brazil poses a serious threat to her likely re-election bid next year.
 
The share of people who consider Rousseff's administration "great" or "good" plummeted to 30 percent from 57 percent in early June, according to a Datafolha opinion poll published in local newspaper Folha de S.Paulo.
 
The drop was the sharpest for a Brazilian leader since 1990, when Fernando Collor outraged the population by freezing all savings accounts in a desperate attempt to stop hyperinflation. Two years later, Collor resigned the presidency as Congress moved to impeach him over corruption allegations.
 
Until recently, Rousseff had enjoyed some of the highest approval ratings of any leader in the Western world, largely thanks to record-low unemployment. But her popularity started to slip in early June as rising consumer prices began to eat away at Brazilians' purchasing power, a sure recipe for trouble in a country with a long history of runaway inflation.
 
Then came the nationwide street demonstrations of the past few weeks, which have sent shockwaves through Brazil's political establishment. While the protests have not been directed at a single leader or party, widespread discontent with a ruling class that is seen as self-serving and corrupt is eroding the popularity of politicians at all levels, including Rousseff.
 
The Datafolha poll was the first taken since more than a million Brazilians poured on to the streets in recent weeks to protest a litany of grievances, from corruption and poor public services to outrage at billions of dollars in taxpayer money being spent to host the 2014 soccer World Cup.
 
The president's approval rating fell sharply in all regions of the country, the poll showed. In the Northeast, birthplace of her popular predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and a stronghold of the ruling Workers' Party (PT), the share of people who view the administration favorably sank to 40 percent from 64 percent in a poll on June 8.
 
The poll also asked Brazilians if they were in favor of the protests, the largest to hit Brazil in two decades. Eighty-one percent of respondents said they support the demonstrations. Asked if the protests had resulted in positive changes, 65 percent said yes.
 
The unrest has prompted a flurry of promises to improve public services and other measures aimed at quelling the protests. In the past week alone, Brazil's Congress voted on a battery of bills promoting issues popular with the protesters, and the Supreme Court ordered the arrest of a lower house representative convicted of corruption.
 
Rousseff shocked Brazil on Monday by proposing a constituent assembly to overhaul the country's political system, but withdrew the plan a day later after it ran up against widespread opposition, even from within her own party.
 
She is now seeking congressional support for a non-binding plebiscite to ask Brazilians how they would like to see the political system changed. In the Datafolha poll, 68 percent of respondents said they backed the idea of a plebiscite.
 
The drop in Rousseff's popularity comes at a delicate moment for Brazil's economy, which barely expanded last year and relies on an ambitious agenda of infrastructure projects to return to sustained growth in coming years.
 
The approval rating of Rousseff's economic team, led by Finance Minister Guido Mantega and central bank president Alexandre Tombini, dropped to 27 percent from 49 percent.
 
The Datafolha poll, which was conducted on June 27-28, surveyed 4,717 people and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Brazil Presidential Race Gets One More Candidate

Environmentalist Marina Silva to join contest for Socialist Party candidate; vote to be held October 5
More

Guatemalan General Killed in Copter Crash Near Mexico Border

General Rudy Ortiz was among five people killed; cause under investigation; weather said to have been possible factor
More

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month
More

Pope's Relatives Killed in Argentina Car Crash

Family of pontiff's nephew killed after car plows into truck
More

Ex-Guatemalan Drug Kingpin Pleads Guilty to US Charges

Waldemar Lorenzana Lima, linked by authorities to Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, pleaded guilty to conspiring to import more than 450 kilograms of Colombian cocaine into US
More

Landmark Brazil Poll Brings Good News for Rousseff

Facing tough road to re-election, Rousseff has seen sharp recovery in approval ratings, voter support
More