Majority of Brazilians Favor Rousseff’s Impeachment, Poll Says

A majority of Brazilians favor an impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, whose approval rating slumped to a record on a widening corruption scandal and a slowing economy, an MDA poll showed today.

Six out of ten respondents said they favor an impeachment of Rousseff, whose personal approval rating fell to 19 percent from 56 percent in September, according to an MDA poll published by the National Transport Confederation. That’s the lowest rating since Rousseff, 67, took office in January 2011.

The government has faced mounting opposition in response to economic austerity measures and allegations that the president’s party benefited from kickbacks at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA. More than 1 million people protested on March 15 in cities across Brazilian, with some of them demanding Rousseff’s impeachment. Still, Eduardo Cunha, head of the lower house of Congress, said last week that there are no legal grounds to remove her from office.

If new elections were to be held, 16.6 percent of those polled would vote for Rousseff and 55.7 percent for Aecio Neves, who lost the October election, the MDA poll showed.

The government was rated good or very good by 11 percent of respondents compared with 41 percent in a September MDA poll and 13 percent in a March 16-17 Datafolha poll published last week, according to MDA, which showed that 83 percent of respondents say Rousseff doesn’t know how to handle the economic crisis.

Brazil’s economy is forecast to contract 0.83 percent this year, while inflation will accelerate to an above-target 8.1 percent, according to the latest central bank survey of analysts.

Following the protests, Rousseff presented a package of anti-corruption measures and said she will not back down from tax increases and spending cuts designed to reduce a budget deficit that nearly tripled during her first mandate.

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