NEW YORK (Reuters) - The approval rating of Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski fell in January, with those who disapprove of his leadership outweighing those who approve for the first time since he took power in July, a poll showed Sunday.

Support for Kuczynski was 43 percent, down 5 percentage points from December, according to a survey published by Ipsos Peru in local newspaper El Comercio. Disapproval rose 9 percentage points to 45 percent.

The center-right Kuczynski's administration has been overshadowed by a scandal involving Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht, which has acknowledged that it bribed unnamed officials in Peru and in other countries in the region.

The $29 million in bribes that Odebrecht has admitted to giving officials in Peru to secure public works contracts span three presidencies, threatening to expose high-level corruption in the governments of former presidents Ollanta Humala, Alan Garcia and Alejandro Toledo.


Kuczynski served as finance minister and prime minister in Toledo's government and will be one of eight former ministers asked to offer testimony in a probe into Odebrecht in the justice ministry.

He has denied being involved, and said the company should pay back the money.

"Many (surveyed) think that the corruption in which this company was involved affected all governments from the last 30 years," said Ipsos Peru president Alfredo Torres.

Kuczynski's popularity has been falling since September, after peaking at 63 percent.

The Ipsos poll was carried out between Jan. 11 and 13 and surveyed 1,297 people. It has a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino, Writing by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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