Peru: President Humala’s approval rating drops to 27%

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A new poll carried out by Ipsos Perú has revealed that only 27% of Peruvians approve of President Ollanta Humala. This is the lowest Humala’s approval rating has ever been, and shows a 2% drop from August poll results.

Respondents to the poll cited a number of reasons for their disappointment with the president. According to El Comercio, 67% of those polled believe that Humala is a “liar” and he “doesn’t keep his promises.” 49% reported that they felt that Humala’s governance has led to a drop in citizen safety, and 39% blamed Humala for the rising prices in the country.

According to the Global Post, this is the seventh straight month in which Humala’s rating has fallen. Since March, Humala’s approval rating has dropped a full 27%. Alfredo Torres, director of Ipsos Peru told El Comercio that “Just like with his predecessors, President Ollanta Humala suffers from a constant deterioration in the approval of his administration. Similarly to prior cases, citizens complain of unfulfilled promises.” Torres also said that Citizens are demanding that the government advance more quickly and efficiently in the development of large investment projects and pay attention to the most pressing social problems, especially security.”

Humala has also been strongly criticized for drifting from his liberal roots. An August column from The Economist published in Gestion said accusingly that “Humala was elected as a leftist, but he’s governed as a conservative.”

The Economist column offers some possible explanations for Humala’s dropping approval rating: “An almost reclusive leader of few evident convictions, he is both mistrustful and, after two years in office, increasingly mistrusted. Union leaders, who backed him in 2011, now consider him a traitor to their cause […] Many Peruvians complain that Mr Humala has failed to tackle rising crime.”

Congress’s approval rating was measured at 9%. On the other hand, First Lady Nadine Heredia’s approval rating saw a slight improvement, reaching 37%.

Heredia often faces harsh criticism in the Peruvian press for her perceived overinvolvement in her husband’s government. Critics often accuse Heredia of attempting to “co-govern” with Humala, a charge which she and her husband have repeatedly denied.

On Thursday, Sept. 13, President Humala defended Heredia against critics. According to Peru21, Humala told foreign reporters that any charges against his wife were motivated by prejudice and not by real substance. “I’m saddened by the fact that, within politics, there are certain sectors that follow sexist lines of thought (“que tengan un pensamiento machista”), that want to see women relegated only to the domestic sphere, oppressed. I don’t accept this. I think we have to give opportunities and value to the Peruvian woman.”

However, The Economist notes that Humala is not yet as unpopular as his two predecessors eventually grew to be. No Peruvian president has been able to sustain an approval rating above 50% since 1997, reports The Economist. President Humala was inaugurated on July 28, 2011, and has just under three years left in his term. Humala’s approval rating has hit an all-time low.

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