Most Brazilians disapprove of Temer government: poll

Brazil's President Michel Temer reacts during a ceremony to mark the signing of a decree on new regulations for beef inspection, at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia

BRASILIA (Reuters) – A growing majority of Brazilians disapprove of President Michel Temer’s scandal-plagued government, and faith is flagging in his ability to steer the country out of its worst recession ever, according to a poll published on Friday.

The survey by pollster Ibope, conducted between March 16 and 19, said the number of people who consider Temer’s government “bad” or “terrible” rose to 55 percent from 46 percent in the previous survey carried out in December.

The proportion of those who rate Temer’s government as “great” or “good” slipped to 10 percent from 13 percent, putting its popularity at the same level as leftist former president Dilma Rousseff in March last year, before she was impeached.

Six of Temer’s cabinet ministers, including his two closest aides, have been named in plea bargain testimony for allegedly receiving under-the-table payments, casting uncertainty over his ability to pass reforms needed to restore fiscal discipline and pull Brazil from its worst recession on record.

The number of Brazilians that approve of how Temer is governing Brazil slid to 20 percent from 26 percent in December, while those that disapprove has risen to 73 percent from 64 percent in December, the poll said.

Distrust of the president has grown steadily since he took over from Rousseff, vowing to restore growth and business confidence to Latin America’s largest country.

Almost eight in every 10 Brazilians (79 percent) now say they do not trust Temer, up from 72 percent three months ago, the survey showed.

The poll commissioned by the National Confederation of Industry lobby CNI surveyed 2,000 people and has a margin of error of two percentage points.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Alistair Bell)