Peru leader's approval falls after airport cancellation: poll

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 11, 2017 12:27 PM

LIMA (Reuters) - The approval rating of Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski fell this month after a contract to build an airport near Cusco was canceled, according to a poll released on Sunday.

The survey, by Ipsos Peru and published in local newspaper El Comercio, showed the leader's approval rating falling by 4 percentage points to 39 percent. Kuczynski's approval had been 43 percent in April and May.

Kuczynski's approval rose 11 percentage points in April due to the government's response to extensive flood damage.

Sunday's poll showed the majority of Peruvians now disapprove of Kuczynski, a one-time investment banker and former prime minister. His disapproval rating was 51 percent, up from to 48 percent in May.

The government canceled a 40-year contract to operate the $525 million Chinchero airport, near the famed Machu Picchu ruins, on May 22 because of financing concerns. The local comptroller had also flagged irregularities in the contract.

Economy Minister Alfredo Thorne denied this month asking the head of the comptroller's office to approve the contract in exchange for a bigger budget after local television released a recording of him appearing to do so. Thorne said there were gaps in the recording. His approval rating fell 3 percentage points to 30 percent.

The poll, a survey of 1,290 Peruvians from June 7 to 9, had a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points.

(Reporting by Ursula Scollo; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Nick Zieminski)