Public support for Michelle Bachelet has markedly increased in Chile, according to a poll by Ipsos. 56.8 per cent of respondents approve of the Chilean president's performance, up 9.9 points since August.
Bachelet?a former defence minister?was elected in a January 2006 run-off as the candidate for the centre-left Agreement of Parties for Democracy (CPD) with 53.49 per cent of all cast ballots. She officially took over as president in March 2006. Since taking office, Bachelet has faced massive protests staged by high school students complaining about the poor quality of public education, as well as street demonstrations in Santiago, the capital city, over the botched implementation of a new transportation program called Transantiago. On Dec. 24, Bachelet discussed the global financial crisis, saying, "Next year, 2009, will not be an easy year. But I am a realist and I believe that if we all work together as we have, we will be able to withstand the impact that the crisis may have on our country."