Thursday, April 16th 2009 - 09:53 UTC

Lula da Silva has the highest approval rating; Cristina K the lowest

Brazil’s President Lula da Silva and Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe with over 70% approval have the best leaders’ performances in Latinamerica while in the other extreme figure Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner and Honduras Manuel Zelaya, below 30%, according to the prestigious Mexican pollster Consulta Mitofsky.

Pte. Lula and his counterpart CFK: The odd couple, thumbs up, thumbs down

Thanks to President Barack Obama, (and the exit of George Bush) North America is now the world’s region with the highest approval rating of its leaders.

In Latinamerica, Lula da Silva and Uribe are followed by Mexico’s Felipe Calderon (68%) and Antonio Saca (66%) from El Salvador, with ratings considered outstanding in spite of the fact that the Mexican leader’s party PAN is forecasted to be considerably weakened in the coming July mid term elections and Mr. Saca’s party Arena, lost to the opposition in the recent presidential election.

The list follows with the names of those leaders in the “high rating”, between 55% and 65% support and includes Ecuador’s Rafael Correa 60%; United States Barack Obama 61%; Fernando Lugo from Paraguay 60%; Chile’s Michelle Bachelet 59% and Evo Morales, Bolivia 58%. The outstanding position belongs to Ms Bachelet who has managed to recover from a serious prolonged downturn.

The so called “medium rating”, from 40% to 55% includes three presidents from Central America, Costa Rica’s Oscar Arias (49%); Panama’s Omar Torrijos (48%) and Guatemala’s Alvaro Colom (45%), plus Tabare Vazquez, from Uruguay with a perceived performance approval of 53%. In this group Mr. Arias climbed five percentage points from the previous reading.

The “low rating” ranging between 35 and 40% has Dominican Republic president Leonel Fernandez with 38%; Daniel Ortega from Nicaragua 38% and a significant rebound, and Peru’s Alan Garcia, 34%. Finally the “lowest rating” is for Mrs. Kirchner in Argentina (29%) and Mr. Zelaya from Honduras (25%).

The Mitofsky report also includes seven out of the region leaders with their perceived performances ratings according to the following order: Primer Minister Kevin Rudd from Australia, 70%; Silvio Berlusconi, Italy 56%; Donald Tsang, Hong Kong 55%; Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spain 50%; Nicholas Sarkozy, France 38%; UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown 36% and Philippines Gloria Macapagal Arroyo 26%.-

Mitofsky points out that the recompilation of data must be interpreted as a measure of each country’s public opinion perceived performance of their leaders and results of their policies and that it is a limited assessment since it can’t totally measure efficiency and achievements of the different administrations. The Mexican pollster also underlines that they consider themselves entirely responsible for the data on Mexico, since in the rest of the continent the work was done with local pollsters, with whom they agreed on the data methodology and assessment techniques.

Mitofsky points out that those interviews were done between November 2008 and March 2009, according to the different countries, but it does not explain why Venezuela and Canada were not included in the report.

13 comments Feed

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1 Diego Martinez (#) Apr 16th, 2009 - 10:43 am Report abuse
Im just curious why MercoPress did not show how popular Chavez is, he is the 5th most popular leader in Latin America. But not a word about him, I can sense some bias in this site. Chavez, the only leader not mentioned...thats very interesting.
2 Ben (#) Apr 16th, 2009 - 06:28 pm Report abuse
Because Chavez is a dictator and has no opposition as he has imprisoned them, so Venezuelans approve of Chavez or else.
3 Gab (#) Apr 16th, 2009 - 09:56 pm Report abuse
Regardless, Diego is correct. Chavez, weather you like it or not was elected, weather a dictator or not, still enjoys a high acceptance rate by its people...
I am of no particular affiliation, but also began to notice some bias...
4 Expat Kelper (#) Apr 16th, 2009 - 11:17 pm Report abuse
Well Hitler and Mussolini were elcted and pretty popular in their time until they set their own backsides on fire by their own stupidity. Perhaps what you see here is not bias but an awareness of the historic coincidences and difficulties of trying to compare real democracy with those who claim democracy under false pretences.
5 Gab (#) Apr 16th, 2009 - 11:34 pm Report abuse
Hitle and Mussolini.... wow, where did that come from?... the article talks about the popularity of contemporary Latin American leaders, I do not have to defend Chavez, but by merely pointing out the fact that he was omitted, it might indicate bias against populist governments by the author of the article.
6 Gab (#) Apr 16th, 2009 - 11:36 pm Report abuse
Carlos, thanks for pointing that out to me.
7 Carlos (#) Apr 16th, 2009 - 11:38 pm Report abuse
Diego and Gab: suggest you look at the last paragraph of the article and then refer directly to Consulta Mitofsky in Spanish. I've followed Mercopress for several years and can't agree with the “bias” description, although we must admit that Mr. Chavez, even when successful in most elections and referendums and nobody questions his legitimacy, he remains a controversial figure in Latinamerica.
8 Luis (#) Apr 17th, 2009 - 12:14 am Report abuse
To those who said chavez is a dictator, i want to know what proof they have to make those assumptions.
9 Alex (#) Apr 17th, 2009 - 03:29 am Report abuse
Chavez is simply taking political advantage of the needs and ignorance of a big portion of Venezuela's people. As are doing other so called left wing leaders, who are nothing more than demagogic caricatures of themselves.

But he is not a dictator (at least not yet). Democracy has the theoretical right of self destruction, and saying that Chavez is a dictator simply does not help make the point against him. It is simply centering the discussion on semantics rather than on the true harm he is causing on his country and the region.
10 Luis (#) Apr 17th, 2009 - 10:06 am Report abuse
Alex you are right, he is not a dictator, who dare to compare a president elected democraticaly with a dictator obviously has never seen a dictator, and never lived under a dictatorship.
And yes he is too leftist to be suspicious of demagogic, but if he keeps his promesses he will be fine.
11 Alex (#) Apr 17th, 2009 - 11:51 am Report abuse
Oh yes Luis. HE will be fine... not so sure about his people. But if that is what they want, they can have it. The rest of the region, though, did not vote him and should not have to cope with his nosy intromissions on other's affairs and ideologization cruzade. So much about US imperialism...
12 Luis (#) Apr 17th, 2009 - 12:41 pm Report abuse
Alex where are you from? honestly.
13 Alex (#) Apr 17th, 2009 - 11:40 pm Report abuse
I'm from Uruguay Luis. But whoever cares about me anyway?

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