Humala Approval Plunges Below 50% on Protests, Poll Shows
Peruvian President Ollanta Humala’s approval rating dropped the most since he took office 10 months ago as escalating social unrest threatens to derail economic growth, a poll shows.
Humala’s approval rating dropped 12 percentage points to 43 percent from a month ago, according to the June 8-11 poll by Datum Internacional, which was published in the Lima-based newspaper Peru21 today.
The president’s rating fell below 50 percent for the second time since he took office on July 28 after a crackdown on anti- mining protests led four congressmen to resign from his party. On May 28, the government declared a state of emergency near Xstrata Plc (XTA)’s Tintaya copper mine after at least two people died in demonstrations. Protesters against Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM)’s Minas Conga gold project paralyzed the town of Cajamarca this week, leading to clashes with riot police yesterday.
About $50 billion of mining investment is on stand-by because of the unrest, Finance Minister Miguel Castilla told state television on June 4. The protests threaten growth and may weaken the government, increasing risks for bond holders, Bank of America said on June 12.
Datum’s poll of 1,216 people had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
Wildcat demonstrations blocked the Pan-American Highway for three days last month to protest a government clampdown on unregulated mining while teachers, nurses and judicial workers have taken to the streets to demand pay increases.
Of those surveyed, 54 percent said Humala is managing social conflicts badly and 10 percent said he was handling them well, the poll showed.
Support for Minas Conga, the country’s biggest investment project, rose to 60 percent from 48 percent in April, while 74 percent said mining investment in Peru should continue, Datum said.
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