October 4, 2016 / 2:28 PM / 3 years ago

Little improvement in Temer government's popularity: Brazil poll

BRASILIA (Reuters) - President Michel Temer has not managed to convince Brazilians his government is better than that of his ousted predecessor Dilma Rousseff, and his popularity remains low, according to a poll on Tuesday.

Brazil's President Michel Temer reacts during launch ceremony of the "New School" (Novo Ensino Medio) at the Presidential Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Pollster Ibope said the number of people who consider Temer’s government “great” or “good” edged up to 14 percent from 13 percent in the previous survey in late June, which was conducted six weeks after he replaced Rousseff when her impeachment trial began.

But the number who rate it as “bad” or “terrible” was unchanged at 39 percent, according to the poll commissioned by the National Industry Confederation (CNI).

In a personal setback to Temer, who is pressing ahead with reforms to curb an onerous budget deficit, approval of the way he is governing has dropped to 28 percent from 31 percent. Disapproval has risen to 55 percent from 53 percent.

Sixty-eight percent of the people surveyed say they do not trust Temer, 2 percentage points higher than three months ago.

Ibope surveyed 2,002 people between September 20-25 and its poll has a margin of error of 2 points either way.

Temer took office in the midst of the country’s worst recession since the 1930s and a massive corruption scandal, which contributed to Rousseff’s definitive removal by Congress in late August on charges of breaking budget rules.

Leading members of Temer’s party are under investigation for receiving kickbacks in the graft scandal centered on state oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras). Three of his cabinet ministers quit due to allegations of misconduct.

Unemployment has continued to rise and inflation remains high as Temer tries to push through unpopular cuts in public spending to plug a gaping deficit inherited from Rousseff, a leftist.

He also has been dogged by lingering questions about the legitimacy of Rousseff’s impeachment, and his public appearances are often marred by protest shouts of “Out with Temer.”

Temer, who was Rousseff’s vice president and will serve out the remainder of her term through 2018, has said he does not care about his dire approval ratings because his mission is to restore confidence and pull Latin America’s largest economy out of the two-year recession. He says he will not run in 2018.

“My only concern it to try to put Brazil back on the rails, just that, and that my successor will have the authority to lead the nation,” Temer said on Monday during a visit to Paraguay.

Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu and Anthony Boadle; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Paul Simao

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