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Brazil poll shows strong support for impeachment of President Rousseff

| Sunday, March 20, 2016, 6:51 p.m.

RIO DE JANEIRO — A poll published Sunday suggested strong support for the impeachment of embattled Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in a politically polarized country mired in an economic recession and a corruption probe that has ensnared much of the country's political brass.

The poll by the respected Datafolha agency, published in the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, said 68 percent of people surveyed want to see lawmakers vote to impeach Rousseff. That's up 8 percentage points since February, with the jump highest among the rich, who supported Rousseff's impeachment by 74 percent.

Just 10 percent rated her government good or excellent, with 69 percent calling it bad or terrible.

The ratings of her predecessor, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, were also down — possibly dented by controversy over his appointment as Rousseff's chief of staff, a move critics said was a bid to shield him from corruption allegations.

Fifty-seven percent said they disapprove of him — a dramatic drop from the nearly 90 percent approval rating Silva had when leaving office in 2010.

But in a sign of the depth of Brazilians' disgust with the entire political establishment, Silva held onto his ranking as the best president the South American nation ever had, with 35 percent of the survey's respondents picking him, compared with the 16 percent who chose his predecessor, President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

A Supreme Court justice on Friday suspended Silva's nomination to the Cabinet post, and the full court will have to decide whether he can take office. Under Brazilian law, Cabinet members cannot be investigated, charged or imprisoned unless authorized by the Supreme Court.

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