Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's approval ratings have struck rock bottom with nearly seven out of ten Brazilians in favor of having Congress begin impeachment proceedings against the beleaguered leader of Latin America's largest economy, according to the latest opinion poll release. A nationwide rally calling her for resignation is planned for August 16.
The public opinion poll published on Thursday indicated that Dilma Rousseff is the most unpopular democratically elected president since the end of Brazil's military dictatorship in 1985.
Rousseff was revealed to have an approval rating of 8%, according to a survey conducted by polling firm Datafolha, while 71% of respondents said they disapprove of how Rousseff is doing her job. And two-thirds of the interviews said they would like to see Rousseff impeached.
Rousseff, Brazil's first woman president and who succeeded popular ex president Lula da Silva, has been the target of widespread outrage over corruption, a foundering economy and increasing unemployment.
The latest poll release suggests she is less popular than Fernando Collor, who resigned in 1992 amid allegations of corruption. Collor had an approval rating of 9% when he stepped down from office to prevent impeachment proceedings.
Dilma has thus become the president with the worst approval rating among all those elected directly since the return of democracy, said the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, which belongs to the same group as Datafolha.
Datafolha first began polling during Collor's time in office. In 1990, he became the first democratically elected president since the end of military rule in 1985.
Rousseff continues to be plagued by a corruption scandal at state-run oil giant Petrobras, which has also implicated Brazil's ruling Workers' Party. She chaired the Petrobras board of directors from 2003 to 2010, the period during which the corruption is alleged to have taken place, though she has not personally been implicated in the scandal.
On Wednesday, two former executives at Brazilian construction giant OAS were sentenced to 16 years in jail for bribing officials and politicians in order to secure contracts with Petrobras.
Rousseff's administration includes a catch-all coalition of over fifteen parties but the main ally PMDB and with the strongest political network in the huge country is divided on the impeachment proceedings, with Vice president Michel Temer holding on to a fragile consensus.
The August 16 nationwide rally demanding for Dilma's resignation could be a turning point.
Cabinet chief an loyal Rousseff supporter, Aloizo Mercadante called on all political sectors for a great national accord to counter the major political and economic crisis faced by Brazil.
Temer admitted the situation was very serious and added that we need someone who has the capacity to call on all Brazilians, because otherwise we might enter a very nasty and critical spiral.