Washington Post

O Washington Post divulga matéria firme e seca sobre a queda da popularidade de Lula a partir de um resumo feito pela Reuters. Eis os destaques:

1 - Lula chegou ao mais baixo nível de popularidade desde que tomou posse por causa do escândalo de corrupção no PT.
2 - A maioria da população acha que ele sabia sobre a corrupção e não está adotando nenhuma providência para combatê-la.
3 - A crise política começou a afetar a confiança do consumidor.
4 - O programa de reformas simplesmente parou.
5 - A corrupção é pior do que no último Governo.
6 - Ele já está perdendo nas pesquisas para as próximas eleições.

Washington Post.

Scandal whacks popularity of Brazil's Lula

BRASILIA, Brazil - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is now less popular than at any time since he took office because of a corruption scandal and he will face a hard fight to win the next presidential election, a poll on Tuesday showed. "The majority of the population thinks that he knew about corruption and is not taking the correct steps to combat it," said Ricardo Guedes, director of the Sensus Institute that carried out the poll for the National Transport Confederation.

Approval of the Brazilian government has also sunk in the past three months and the political crisis has begun to effect consumer confidence, the poll said. The personal popularity of the former factory worker, who held out the hope of a new era of social justice in this country of 185 million people, plunged to a record low of 50 percent in September, down from about 60 percent in July, according to the poll.The government's approval rating dropped to 35.8 percent from 40.3 percent in the same period. The decline follows a cascade of allegations that members of Lula's ruling Workers' Party and government aides bought political support in Congress and used illegal funding for elections.The scandal has held up the government's reform program, which is eagerly awaited by foreign investors, and left the Workers' Party in disarray. Lula entered office in January 2003 with promises to clean up widespread corruption in public office. The perception that Lula knew about the bribery and other corruption has also increased, the poll said. "For the first time there are strong grounds to believe that corruption is worse now than in the last government," Guedes said. Lula has appeared on national television to deny any knowledge of wrongdoing and has vowed to punish any guilty officials. Four senior Workers Party officials, including his once-powerful cabinet chief of staff Jose Dirceu, have lost their jobs since the scandal first hit the headlines in June. But the poll showed his longtime rival, Jose Serra of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party, gaining on him in the fight for the presidency in elections set for October next year.

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