News / Americas

Brazil's Rousseff Loses Support But on Track to Win Re-election

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff speaks at a joint news conference with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (unseen) during an EU-Brazil summit in Brussels, Feb. 24, 2014.
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff speaks at a joint news conference with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (unseen) during an EU-Brazil summit in Brussels, Feb. 24, 2014.
Reuters
Popular support for Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has faltered ahead of the Oct. 5 presidential election, a poll showed Thursday, but the leftist leader remains favored to win a second term.
 
Hurt by a sluggish economy, high inflation and a scandal surrounding Brazil's state-run oil company, Rousseff's personal approval rating has dropped to 51 percent from 56 percent in November, the survey by the Ibope polling institute and Brazil's National Industry Confederation showed.
 
Support for her administration fell to 36 percent from 43 percent in the previous poll, while 27 percent of those polled disapproved of the government, compared with 20 percent in November. The latest poll was taken from March 14-17 and has a margin of error of two percentage points.
 
The drop in support, which led to a sharp rally in Brazilian stocks and boosted the country's currency on Thursday, reflects the challenges that Rousseff must overcome to win re-election.
 
“It shows that 2014 is going to be a hard year for the government,” said Rafael Cortez, a political analyst with Tendencias, a consultancy in SIao Paulo. “All these negative issues are hurting her image as a candidate.”
 
Although Rousseff and her ruling Workers' Party still enjoy widespread support because of economic gains made during the administration of former President Luiz InDacio Lula da Silva, her mentor and predecessor, Rousseff is currently presiding over the fourth year of lackluster growth in Latin America's largest economy.
 
Price increases and a lack of investment in the country's public services led to mass nationwide demonstrations last year that have caused many voters to question the Workers' Party's 12-year grip on the presidency.
 
Some voters are also critical of the billions of dollars worth of public funds that have been spent on 12 stadiums for the 2014 soccer World Cup, which kicks off in SIao Paulo June 12.
 
Struggling businesses, meanwhile, have increasingly complained about what they perceive as the government's short-sighted and interventionist management of the economy. Rousseff has focused mostly on curbing costs through tax breaks and price controls, not the sort of structural reforms that economists have long argued are necessary to make Brazil more efficient.
 
Fueled by investor hopes that support for Rousseff could dwindle further, Brazilian assets, especially stocks of state-controlled companies, soared.
 
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index rallied to its highest level in over two months and the real, strengthened 2 percent against the dollar.
 
Recently, Rousseff also has been roiled by the ongoing scrutiny of a 2006 purchase of an oil refinery in Texas by Petroleo Brasileiro SA, the state-run energy company known as Petrobras. As chairwoman of the company's board at the time, Rousseff approved the transaction, which is now being criticized as too costly.
 
Still, other recent polls suggest that Rousseff is still likely to win re-election.
 
An Ibope poll of voter intentions last week found Rousseff has 43 percent of the electorate's support, against 15 percent for Senator Aecio Neves of the main opposition party and 7 percent for Eduardo Campos, governor of the northeastern state of Pernambuco.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Mexican Court Frees Ex-US Marine Jailed on Gun Charges

Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi had been behind bars since March for bringing guns into the country
More

Mexico Police Investigate Police Link in Shooting Deaths of US Siblings

Deaths of Erica Alvarado Rivera, her brothers and boyfriend as they traveled to visit family is third high-profile case in recent months that links security forces to extrajudicial killings
More

Lawmaker Blasts US Participation in Cuba Ebola Meeting

Mario Diaz-Balart said ALBA, which chaired the meeting, 'was created solely to oppose US interests' and US participation was 'ludicrous'
More

US Coast Guard Rescues 33 Cubans at Sea

Because the overloaded boat did not make landfall, those rescued will be returned to Cuba
More

Western Experts Increasingly Fear Lone Wolf Terror Attacks

Slaying and assault on Canada's parliament building was followed by a hatchet attack on two New York City policemen
More

Search Underway at New Site in Mexico Missing Students Case

This week marked one month since the students went missing after clashing with police in mysterious circumstances
More