Brazil: More than two-thirds view coup gov't unfavourably

June 19, 2016

More than two-thirds of Brazilians assess the coup government of acting president Michel Temer unfavourably and 32% think he is even worse than expected, a new poll by Vox Populi revealed on June 14.

Temer has been acting president since elected President Dilma Rousseff was suspended by Brazil's Senate through an impeachment process viewed by many as a right-wing coup.

Temer was already a widely unpopular politician in Brazil. However, his first month as president and a series of unpopular measures, as well as a few scandals, have pushed his approval ratings even further south.

Thirty-four percent of those polled view the Temer government negatively, 33% view it as “regular”, and a mere 11% view it positively. The remainder did not know or did not respond.

Respondents strongly disagreed with Temer's decision to name an all-white and all-male cabinet, with 63% saying it was either an error or a serious error. A staggering 56% of people think social programs will suffer under Temer, a sharp increase since April.

Despite promising to keep social programs intact, Temer cut two of the flagship social programs implemented during the Workers' Party (PT) governments of Dilma and her predecessor, Lula da Silva.

Fifty-four percent said cuts to the Minha Casa housing program were bad and would hurt a lot of people. Forty-eight percent said the same about the cuts to Bolsa Familia, which provides a direct subsidy to Brazil's poorest.

The poll also found 52% expected unemployment to rise and 55% expect labour rights to suffer.

Many of the lawmakers who voted in favour of impeaching Dilma cited ongoing corruption scandals as the reason behind their support. However, 44% of respondents now believe the fight against corruption will be worse under Temer.

The poll, commissioned by Brazil's largest trade union federation, is one of the few published since Brazil's Congress voted to suspend Dilma.

Media outlets frequently commissioned and published opinion polls before Dilma's ouster to highlight her unpopularity, but have largely refrained from doing the same for the Temer administration. Dilma's supporters have accused private media outlets of helping facilitate the coup against the democratically elected government.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents now think that the impeachment of Dilma is not the solution the country needs, a figure that has been steadily rising. Meanwhile, 67% agree with Dilma that there should be new elections this year.

The poll was conducted between June 7 and 9 and surveyed 2000 people in 116 municipalities throughout Brazil.

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]

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