SAO PAULO (Reuters) - An overwhelming majority of Brazilians do not approve of interim President Michel Temer’s style of government or trust him after six weeks in office, a survey by pollster CNI/Ibope showed on Friday.
The survey comes as Latin America’s biggest country continues to suffer through economic recession and political turmoil. It is the first published by a major polling firm since Temer took over following the May suspension of President Dilma Rousseff because of ongoing impeachment proceedings.
Just 13 percent of those surveyed gave Temer’s government a favorable evaluation, while 39 rated it bad or very bad.
In comparison, the last Ibope poll, taken in March before Rousseff was suspended from office, showed that 10 percent approved of her government.
That puts the approval ratings for Temer and Rousseff in a technical tie.
In the latest poll, just 27 percent said they “trusted” Temer, a centrist and veteran lawmaker who served as Rousseff’s vice president, versus 66 percent who did not.
Some 53 percent of those polled said they disapproved of Temer’s style of government, while 31 percent approved of it.
The Ibope poll released on Friday interviewed 2,002 people across Brazil between June 24 and 27. The margin of error is 2 percentage points.
Its results reflect the muddled political outlook for many Brazilians, divided along class lines after Rousseff’s leftist Workers Party (PT), once exalted by blue-collar voters, succumbed to corruption and disarray after 13 years in power.
Temer’s Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, which for a decade served at the PT’s main ruling coalition partner, is also deeply ensnared in Brazil’s sprawling corruption investigations, mainly one focusing on a massive kickback scheme at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras.
Rousseff, who is awaiting a Senate trial over irregularities in the government budget, took office in 2001 and presided over the fizzling of an economic boom, a historic graft scandal and political upheaval that made her the least-popular president in modern Brazilian history, according to polls last year.
Because Rousseff is not expected to survive the Senate trial, which is expected to end in late August, Temer faces the prospect of serving out the remaining 2-1/2 years of a term beset by political uncertainty and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
In addition to rising unemployment and inflation, which is eroding hard-won gains made by many working-class Brazilians during a prior decade of economic growth, parts of the country are grappling with institutional chaos because of budget shortfalls.
In Rio de Janeiro, which is racing to finish crucial infrastructure and guarantee public services before it becomes the first South American city to host the Olympics on Aug. 5, the federal government this week disbursed 2.9 billion reais ($897 million) in emergency funds to cover security costs for the state government.
Reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello; Writing by Daniel Flynn; Editing by Silvio Cascione and Tom Brown