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

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

California Governor on 3-day Trade Trip to Mexico

With immigration facilities bursting at the seams, Jerry Brown says child migration is on the agenda during his trade visit
More

UN Sanctions Operator of North Korean Ship Caught Smuggling Arms

North Korean ship Chong Chon Gang was detained a year ago carrying arms, including two MiG-21 jet fighters, under thousands of tons of sugar
More

Argentina Seeks to Avoid 2nd Debt Default in 13 Years

Argentina says it will make another effort to reach a deal with a group of US creditors
More

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surge

Inaccurate claims suggest US will give amnesty to young migrants
More

US Disappointed in Netherlands' Release of Drug Trafficking Suspect

State Department spokesman says legitimate request made for Hugo Carvajal’s arrest under extradition treaty between US, Netherlands and Aruba
More

UN Panel Meets on Global Aging

HelpAge presents nearly 300,000 signatures calling for UN Treaty
More