By Anthony Boadle
BRASILIA (Reuters) – More than a quarter of Brazilians view interim President Michel Temer’s government negatively and a majority want new elections this year, according to a poll on Wednesday that suggested scandals and policy reversals had dented his popularity.
Temer’s government, which began on May 12 when Brazil’s Senate suspended leftist President Dilma Rousseff for breaking budget laws, received a negative rating from 28 percent of Brazilians, according to the CNT/MDA poll.
Only 11.3 percent of those questioned gave it a positive rating, while 30.2 percent found it “regular”.
The poll, the first major sampling of public opinion since Rousseff’s suspension, also showed increased support for her impeachment. Almost two-thirds of those surveyed – 62.4 percent – said the decision to send her to an impeachment trial was the right one, compared to an MDA poll in February that showed 55.6 percent in favor of impeachment.
The poll’s findings could be a vital indicator as some senators waver in their commitment to convict Rousseff in her impeachment trial.
A majority of those polled – 54.8 percent – said they saw no difference between Temer’s government and that of Rousseff, which was roiled by a sweeping corruption investigation into political kick-backs from state-run oil company Petrobras.
Some 46.6 percent of those polled believe corruption in the Temer government will be the same.
The survey showed that 50.3 percent of Brazilians favor holding new elections this year to resolve the political crisis.
A string of recent scandals has weakened Temer as he seeks to build support in the Senate to definitively remove Rousseff, who has described her impeachment as a coup.
Brazil’s chief prosecutor is seeking the arrest of senior members of Temer’s PMDB party for allegedly trying to obstruct the Petrobras investigation, O Globo reported on Tuesday.
Their arrests would be a severe blow to the interim president’s efforts to establish his government’s legitimacy.
In the poll commissioned by the transport industry lobby CNT, MDA surveyed 2,002 people between June 2-5. The poll has a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Paul Simao)