Lula government's approval rating dips nine months into office in Brazil

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends a meeting at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil September 22, 2023. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/
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BRASILIA (Reuters) - Approval of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's government has slipped slightly after nine months in office, but almost half of Brazilians say it is doing a better job than that of his right-wing predecessor Jair Bolsonaro, a poll said on Tuesday.

The CNT/MDA poll said 40.6% of the people surveyed said the performance of the Lula government was "great" or "good" compared with 43% in the previous poll in May. The number of those who say it is "bad" or "terrible" has increased to 27.2% from 25% earlier.

"The general assessment of the government remains positive, though the expectations for lower unemployment and improvements in income, health and education have fallen," said Marcelo Souza, director of the polling firm MDA. The country's security situation is also seen as worsening, he added.

Lula narrowly defeated Bolsonaro in a runoff election last October and took office in January.

Still, 46% of those polled say the new government is better than Bolsonaro's, which had a 12-percentage-point lower approval rating after nine months in office.

Approval of Lula's own performance as president has also dipped, to 54.9% from 57%, with disapproval rising to 39% from 35%.

MDA, commissioned by the national transport lobby CNT, polled 2,002 people across Brazil between Sept. 27 and Oct. 1.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle in Brasilia; Editing by Steven Grattan and Rod Nickel)