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

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    More Americas News

    The Internet Comes to Cuba ... Slowly

    Smartphones prevalent, but only to make or receive calls, as mobile Internet access severely limited to certain areas; restriction has its charms, some say

    Daily Flights Between US, Cuba Planned for Later this Year

    Agreement to be signed Tuesday in Havana allowing up to 110 flights a day; US law prohibiting travel to Cuba for tourist activities remains in effect

    Cuba's Organic Honey Exports Create Buzz

    Organic honey joins list of country's key agricultural exports, as pesticide use has been linked to declining bee populations elsewhere

    Colombia's ELN Rebels Declare 72-hour Lockdown

    Move, set to begin on Sunday, will restrict transport and commerce amid signs of further delays in their efforts to begin peace talks

    Venezuelan Supreme Court Approves Emergency Powers for President

    President Maduro had asked the court for emergency powers to counteract the country's deep economic crisis

    Photogallery Pope Francis in Mexico After Historic Call for Religious Unity with Russian Patriarch

    Religious leaders sign declaration Friday after historic meeting in Cuba to heal 1,000-year-old rift between Western and Eastern branches of Christianity