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The disapproval rating of Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro rose to a record high ahead of 2022 elections, showed two polls on Thursday.
In a survey by Datafolha, about 51 per cent of Brazilians disapproved of their right-wing leader who took the office in January 2019. The disapproval ratings were six percentage points higher than the polls done in May, when about 45 per cent of the citizens disapproved of the president.
About 52 per cent of respondents feel that Mr Bolsonaro’s government is doing a “bad/terrible” job, revealed a poll carried out by Brazilian pollster XP/Ipespe between 5 and 7 July. Earlier in June about 50 per cent of the respondents disapproved of the work done by his government.
The survey comes at a time when the president is facing a backlash over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and accusations of corruption.
The faith in the government’s ability to bounce back is so low that about half the respondents expect Mr Bolsonaro to do a “bad/terrible” job for his remaining tenure, up from 47 per cent in June.
In fact, the poll revealed that Mr Bolsonaro’s rival and former leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva gained voter support ahead of 2022 elections, with the president trailing behind him by at least 14 percentage points.
While the simulated first-round vote showed Mr Lula’s vote share jump from 32 per cent votes in June to 38 per cent, Mr Bolsonaro’s first round of votes fell from 28 per cent to 26 per cent. Mr Lula also saw a steady increase in support during the second-round matchup, as it rose from 45 per cent in June to 49 per cent in July, while Mr Bolsonaro’s vote share declined by one percentage point to 35 per cent.
Datafolha conducted a survey of 2074 people between 7 July and 8 July, while XP/Ipespe surveyed 1,000 people between 5 July and 7 July. Both the polls have a margin of error of 2 and 3.2 percentage points, respectively.
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets across Brazil demanding Mr Bolsonaro’s impeachment over his alleged role in potential corruption involving a vaccine deal.
The protests in more than 40 cities were triggered after a Supreme Court judge authorised a criminal investigation into his response to a whistleblower’s reports of alleged corruption.
The whistleblower in the health ministry accused Mr Bolsonaro of failing to take action when warned three months ago that senior officials had agreed to take bribes to purchase overpriced doses of Indian-made vaccine Covaxin.
The president has denied any wrongdoing or knowledge of corruption.
Additional reporting from the wires