Approval rating for Brazil's Temer plummets: poll

Brazil's President Michel Temer attends a ceremony in Brain Institute in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Approval for Brazilian President Michel Temer’s government has plummeted, according to a poll published on Tuesday, as the scandal-plagued leader faces new corruption charges and struggles to push his economic reform agenda through Congress.

Polling firm MDA said that 3.4 percent of those surveyed thought the Temer government was doing a “great or good” job - down from 10.3 percent in MDA’s last such poll in February.

Temer took over a year ago from impeached leftist Dilma Rousseff and has said he does not care about popularity and only wants to push through an austerity package before his term ends in Jan. 2019. Yet his ability to do so has been hamstrung by charges of taking bribes, racketeering and obstruction of justice.

The charges against Temer are based on the plea-bargain testimony of the owners of the world’s largest meatpacker, JBS SA. They accuse Temer of taking bribes in return for political favors and of conspiring to buy the silence of a witness who could implicate the leader.

Temer has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

The MDA poll was commissioned by the national transport lobby CNT and surveyed 2,002 people across Brazil from Sept. 13-16. The poll has a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points.

Reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien