Following elections marred by isolated protests, Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto saw his approval rating rise slightly, the Latin American Herald Tribune reported, citing a Buendía & Laredo poll. While Nieto saw a minor uptick, his rating is still significantly lower than it was just one year ago.
Buendía & Laredo found Peña Nieto's approval level jumped up to 40 percent in a poll conducted in late May, according to the Tribune. That's a rise of 3 percentage points, up from 37 percent, from a poll conducted in February 2015. The president had a 48 percent approval rating last year.
The poll was conducted just before Mexico's June elections, which saw Nieto's party retain control of Congress, despite widespread criticism of the president's administration. The elections were marred by violence and protests. At least seven candidates and nine campaign officials were killed during the campaign, which was plagued by drug cartel intimidation, reported Reuters.
Peña Nieto has pushed through economic reform during his time in office but struggled elsewhere. Protests against the September 2014 kidnapping of 43 students, since declared dead by authorities, broke out during the elections. Teachers' unions also protested against the government's education policy. At the same time, Peña Nieto has faced corruption allegations amid disappointment in his administration's ability to tackle drug crime in the country.
The May poll showed that the president's approval rating improved because of a drop in respondents who said they neither approved nor disapproved of his performance. Still, the percentage of respondents who disapproved of the president remained unchanged at 53 percent from the February poll. Just 40 percent disapproved of Peña Nieto two years ago in May 2013, according to the Latin American Herald Tribune.