Brazil’s Temer Sees Disapproval Surge as Economic Woes Mount

Updated on
  • Datafolha poll shows 51% disapprove of Temer’s government
  • About 63% of respondents want Temer to resign this year

TOPSHOT - Protesters hold a banner against the constitutional amendment (PEC) 55, previously called 241, which limits budget increases to the rate of inflation for the next 20 years, during the nation-wide demonstration againt Temer's government in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on November 11, 2016. / AFP / YASUYOSHI CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

Photographer: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images

Brazilian President Michel Temer’s disapproval rating surged in an opinion poll as the nation’s economy remains mired in its worst recession on record.

About 51 percent of respondents rated Temer’s government as bad or terrible, up from 31 percent in July, according to a Datafolha poll published in Folha de S. Paulo newspaper Sunday. Forty percent of those surveyed said Temer’s government was worse than ex-President Dilma Rousseff’s administration, and 63 percent wanted him to resign to allow for new elections.

Temer assumed Brazil’s presidency earlier this year with pledges to restart the economy by reining in government debt and wooing investors. The country’s rebound has yet to materialize, as gross domestic product shrank the most this year in the third quarter on drops in household consumption and investments. Government and private-sector economists have slashed their 2017 growth estimates, and fresh political scandals may stand to jeopardize confidence even further.

About 41 percent of poll respondents said the economy will worsen, up from 30 percent in the July poll, while the percentage who think the economy will improve fell to 28 percent from 38 percent previously. Sixty-six percent said inflation will accelerate, while 67 percent said unemployment will increase.

Aide Resigned

The poll comes on the heels of a political scandal that included accusations of influence-trafficking against Temer and culminated in the resignation of a key presidential aide. The survey was taken before local media reported that an Odebrecht SA executive said the company made illegal donations to politicians including Temer and members of his PMDB party. Temer has denied the accusations.

Lower house deputies from the opposition Workers’ Party, known as the PT, called for Temer’s resignation and new elections, according to a statement on Sunday. Temer is inept to run the country both politically and economically, and corruption accusations involving members of his administration show that his government is unable to continue, the deputies said.

The Datafolha poll surveyed 2,828 people in 174 municipalities on Dec. 7-8. The margin of error was plus or minus two percentage points.

— With assistance by Samy Adghirni

(Updates with Workers’ Party statement in sixth paragraph.)
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