Crumbling BRIC
Struggling Brazil Disapproves of Dilma

The results are in from Brazil’s latest opinion poll, and they aren’t at all good for President Dilma Rousseff. After narrowly winning reelection in October of last year, Brazil’s worsening economic problems have now manifested into dangerously low approval numbers for the President. The Wall Street Journal:

According to a survey by the Datafolha polling institute, 10% of respondents said the Rousseff administration was “excellent or good,” compared with 13% in a poll published in April.

Meanwhile, around 65% of respondents said Ms. Rousseff’s administration was “bad or terrible,” up from 60% in the previous survey. That was the highest level since 1992, when President Fernando Collor de Mello received a 68% rating shortly before he was impeached.

Brazil’s economy is expected to decline around 1.35%, while inflation is at nearly 9%, well above the central bank’s tolerance band of 2.5% to 6.5%.

With a disapproval rating of 68 percent, three points higher than Rousseff’s current rating, President Collor was ultimately impeached on corruption charges, after which he resigned. Due in part to the plethora of government jobs filled by appointment (at 20,000 compared to about 5,500 in the United States), Brazil’s government has long been plagued by scandal and corruption.

Under President Rousseff’s watch, another corruption charge is spreading through the Administration. Though Rousseff has thus far not been implicated, the state-run energy company, Petrobras, is under an ever-expanding investigation into its activities during a period when Rousseff herself had been chair of the company. The scandal made waves again just this past week, as two prominent construction-industry executives were arrested as part of the investigation into price-fixing by Petrobras contractors on billions of dollars worth of contracts.

Widespread dissatisfaction is eroding Ms. Rousseff’s political strength only months into her new Presidential term. The  “country of the future”, as Brazil has been called, may be further into the future than many hoped.

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