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Fall in Dilma's Approval Ratings Alarms the Government

03/28/2014 - 09h11

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MARIANA HAUBERT
FROM BRASILIA

A new poll published yesterday by the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics (IBOPE) has registered a new fall in President Dilma Rousseff's approval ratings.

This is of serious concern to the government, which called an emergency meeting to evaluate her prospects of re-election.

Ministers and aides working on Rousseff's pre-election campaign were invited to discuss reasons for the seven-point drop in the government's approval ratings.

For Aloizio Mercadente, Rousseff's Chief-of-Staff, the poll is "another reason for us to work extremely hard to improve Brazil and improve life for the Brazilian people."

The poll, which was commissioned by the National Confederation of Industry, shows that the percentage of voters who consider the government's performance to be 'good' or 'excellent' fell from 43% in November to 36% now. Those who consider the administration's record "bad" or "dreadful" rose from 20% to 27%.

Those interviewed criticized all areas of government policy about which researchers asked. Voter discontent is highest with regard to economic policy, principally in relation to inflation and unemployment.

As Folha has learnt, the numbers have alarmed the government. Shares of state-controlled companies - such as Eletrobras and Petrobras - were up, a sign that financial markets welcomed the results of the poll.

PETROBRAS CASE

The survey was carried out between March 14 and 17, before the emergence of the scandal involving Petrobras' purchase of a Texas oil refinery. However, the governing Workers' Party (PT) hopes that the issue is of little concern for most of the electorate and will have little repercussion.

Members of Rousseff's inner circle are also concerned that her falling poll ratings will reinforce sectors within the PT which advocate the return of Lula to power. Of course, this would have negative consequences for Rousseff's campaign.

Since last year, the PT leadership has been betting on Rousseff's recovery following the dramatic fall in popularity provoked by the protests last June. This latest fall interrupts a recovery which had been underway since last September, a period in which the President intensified her campaigning.

Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE

Read the article in the original language

Joel Silva/Folhapress
A new poll published by IBOPE has registered a new fall in President Dilma Rousseff's approval ratings
A new poll published by IBOPE has registered a new fall in President Dilma Rousseff's approval ratings