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

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
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.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Urbanization Can Bring Health Risks

Researchers warn of increase in heart disease, diabetes
More

US Restricts Travel by Venezuelan Government Officials

Restriction to apply to officials the State Department links to human rights abuses in government crackdown on protest and dissent
More

US Sanctions Venezuelan Officials for Rights Violations

State Department official would not publicly identify individuals because of visa record confidentiality
More

Time Almost Up for Argentina, US Bondholders in Debt Talks

South American nation has until end of Wednesday to either pay in full 'holdout' hedge funds, cut a deal or win a stay on court order that triggeered deadline
More

Football Star's Stepfather Kidnapped, Released

Lawyer for family of Argentina's Carlos Tevez said player's stepfather appeared to be unharmed
More

Video Young Migrants From Central America Risk Life and Limb to Get to US

For tens of thousands of young people trip north is fraught with hardship and danger
More