July 27, 2017 / 2:15 PM / 5 months ago

Just 5 percent approve of Brazilian leader Temer's gov't: poll

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Michel Temer’s approval rating has fallen to just 5 percent and 87 percent of those asked say they do not trust the corruption-plagued leader, according to a survey released on Thursday by pollster Ibope.

The result comes just days before Congress votes on whether a charge that Temer took bribes from the world’s largest meatpacker, JBS SA (JBSS3.SA), should proceed to the Supreme Court, where he could be put on trial.

The government’s approval rating was 10 percent in the last Ibope poll taken in late March. But that was before Temer was hit by the corruption charge.

Temer’s rating has fallen below the worst result former President Dilma Rousseff received in an Ibope poll, when 9 percent of respondents said in late 2015 they approved of her government.

Rousseff was impeached last year and her then-vice president, Temer, took over. Rousseff called that a “coup” orchestrated by Temer and allies so they could impede the corruption investigations.

Despite Temer’s low approval rating, Brazilians remain split on whose government they disliked more, with 52 percent of respondents telling Ibope that Temer’s is worse than Rousseff‘s.

Thursday’s poll was commissioned by the National Confederation of Industry lobby, which surveyed 2,000 people between July 13-16 across Brazil. It has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

Brazil's President Michel Temer arrives to a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

KEY VOTE

Brazil’s lower house of congress is expected to vote next Wednesday on Temer’s corruption charge. Under Brazil’s constitution, two-thirds of deputies must vote in favor of the charge for it to proceed to the top court.

    Despite slipping support in Congress for the unpopular president, Temer is widely expected to survive the vote.

    Brazil’s top prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot, has said he will file at least two more graft-related charges against Temer in the coming weeks.

    That would force congress to vote again to protect the unpopular leader, which several key lawmakers have told Reuters increases the political pressure on them to approve a charge.

    If that occurs and the Supreme Court votes to accept the case, Temer would be suspended and the speaker of the lower chamber of Congress, Rodrigo Maia, would take over as head of state.

    The top court would have 180 days to convict or acquit Temer.

    Reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello in Brasilia and Brad Brooks in Sao Paulo; Writing by Brad Brooks; Editing by Dan Grebler

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