Humala's approval rating in Peru slips to 6-month low

LIMA Sun May 19, 2013 12:53pm EDT

Peru's President Ollanta Humala stands before a swearing-in ceremony of the new Foreign Minister Eda Rivas at the government palace in Lima, May 15, 2013. REUTERS/Enrique Castro-Mendivil

Peru's President Ollanta Humala stands before a swearing-in ceremony of the new Foreign Minister Eda Rivas at the government palace in Lima, May 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Enrique Castro-Mendivil

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LIMA (Reuters) - President Ollanta Humala's approval rating fell 5 points to a six-month low of 46 percent, reflecting the unpopularity of his proposal to buy an oil refinery owned by Spain's Repsol and his support for Venezuela's new government, an Ipsos poll showed on Sunday.

The nationwide poll was published by the newspaper El Comercio.

Humala abandoned his idea of buying the Repsol oil refinery after business leaders complained it would hurt the private sector and put one of the country's main refineries in the hands of an inefficient state-run firm.

Although Humala has drifted to the right since running for office in 2011 as a moderate leftist, his critics have hammered him over his friendship with late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Peru's diplomatic support for his successor, Nicolas Maduro, who won a disputed election in April promising to push ahead with Chavez's socialist drive.

El Comercio reported that three-quarters of Peruvians polled said they did not approve of the way Maduro won.

The poll of 1,221 people was conducted May 15-17. It has a margin of error of 2.1 points.

(Reporting By Terry Wade and Teresa Cespedes; editing by Christopher Wilson)

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