Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s approval ratings fell into the single digits in July, according to a new survey released Tuesday. The dismal new numbers came out a day after Brazil convicted top construction executives for the first time in the widening probe of state-run energy firm Petrobras.
According to Tuesday’s survey, conducted from July 12 to 16 by Brazilian polling firm MDA and commissioned by the National Transportation Confederation, just 7.7 percent of respondents rated Rousseff’s performance as “great” or “good,” while 70.9 percent rated her “bad” or “terrible.” Of the remaining respondents, 20.5 percent rated her as “just okay.”
Tuesday’s figures represent a continuing slide for Rousseff, who began her second term as president in January. Brazil’s ongoing investigation of the Petrobras scandal -- in which dozens of former executives allegedly colluded with construction companies to inflate government contracts with kickbacks paid to members of the ruling Workers’ Party -- has badly damaged Rousseff’s presidency in the months since. Her latest approval rating present a new low since the most recent survey, conducted by Datafolha in June, showed her with 10 percent approval.
— Brazil Character Lab (@scharlab) July 21, 2015
The corruption probe continued to unfold. On Monday, a Brazilian federal judge convicted three top construction executives from the Camargo Correa Group, one of the largest private construction conglomerates in the country, on 38 counts of money laundering in relation to the scandal. Those convictions came on the same day that federal police formally charged Marcelo Odebrecht, CEO of another major construction conglomerate, Odebrecht SA, for participating in the Petrobras bribery scheme.
The convictions and charges marked a major step for the Petrobras investigation, which hadn’t issued any penalties against construction officials since the scandal began enveloping top figures from Petrobras and the Workers’ Party in 2014. But public attitudes toward Rousseff -- in light of the scandal as well as Brazil’s stagnating economic numbers -- have continued to deteriorate. Rousseff was still battling accusations that she knew about the corruption allegedly going on at Petrobras while she served on its board. She has consistently denied knowing of any wrongdoing, but calls for her impeachment still echo loudly. According to Tuesday’s poll, 62.8 percent of respondents said they supported impeachment, and 32.1 percent voted against it.