Popularity of presidents of Brazil, Chile fall amid scandals

AP News
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Posted: Apr 01, 2015 1:18 PM
Popularity of presidents of Brazil, Chile fall amid scandals

SAO PAULO (AP) — The once-popular presidents of Brazil and Chile have both seen their approval ratings plunge amid corruption scandals that have battered their center-left governments, according to polls released Wednesday.

Only 12 percent of Brazilians polled thought President Dilma Rousseff's government was doing an "excellent" or "good" job, while 64 percent qualified it as "bad" or "terrible," according to a survey by the respected polling institute Ibope.

Ibope interviewed 2,002 people between March 21 and 25. The poll had a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

Rousseff's popularity has been buffeted by a sprawling corruption case involving Petrobras, Brazil's state oil company, and a slumping economy.

In Chile, President Michelle Bachelet's approval rating has fallen to its lowest level as a bank loan scandal involving her son dents her popularity.

A new poll shows Bachelet's approval rating falling 8 percentage points to 31 percent in March versus February. That's the lowest for her current administration and her 2006-2010 presidency.

The survey was carried out by Gfk Adimark, which surveyed 1,258 people between March 5- 27. It has an error margin of 2.8 percentage points.

Bachelet's son and his wife are accused of getting privileged access to a $10 million loan, which was approved a day after Bachelet was elected in December 2013.

It is a steep fall for the two women. The 12 percent approval rating for Rousseff's government was a 28 point drop from her rating in Ibope's last poll taken in December 2014, shortly before she was sworn in to her second term.

Bachelet started her current term with an approval rating of 54 percent. She enjoyed 84 percent approval when she left office after her 2006-2010 presidency.