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Brazil: Polls Show Lula Remains Untouched by Scandals over His Aides

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva popularity remains intact although support for his re-election has lost almost five points from February to April, according to the latest public opinion poll from the São Paulo Sensus Institute.

The poll with 2.000 interviews in 24 of the country’s 27 states during the first week of April shows President Lula’s support for a second bid falling from 42.2% in February to 37.5% in April.

Although Mr. Lula has still to announce his candidacy for a second term, his main rival from the leading opposition grouping, Brazilian Social Democracy Party, PSDB, former São Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin climbed from 17.4 to 20.6%.

The presidential election is scheduled for next October 1st and the Brazilian political spectrum is taking as granted that Lula da Silva will announce his candidacy sometime in the coming weeks.

The opinion poll was done following President Lula’s closest aide and Minister of Finance Antonio Palocci forced resignation involved in corruption allegations.

According to Sensus, Lula and Alckmin are followed by Anthony Garotinho, former governor of Rio do Janeiro with 15% and radical Senator Heloí­sa Helena from the leftist party PSOL, 4.3%.

Since no candidate is forecasted to garner 50% plus one vote in the first round, a run off is anticipated, and according to Sensus, President Lula would come ahead with 45% and Alckmin 33.2%. Last February the difference was Lula 51% and Alckmin 29.7%.

"Opinion polls remain favorable to Lula but also show the need for a run off and the difference is shrinking", said Ricardo Guedes Sensus polls coordinator.

Mr. Alckmin also improved the rejection index by falling from 39.9% in February to 33.5% in April while President Lula remained intact at 35.8%.

The poll shows that President Lula’s popularity remains stable at 53.3% as well as his administration’s performance 37.6%.

"What is surprising is president Lula’s capacity to come out unhurt and live with all the corruption claims and political scandals involving his closest aides and administration," said Mr. Guedes.

Sensus coordinator added that the current economic stability in Brazil plus subsidies distributed among the poorest segments of Brazilian society help to explain the strong support for President Lula’s administration.

Mercopress – www.mercopress.com

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