Humala’s Approval Rating Falls on Repsol Interest

President Ollanta Humala’s approval rating fell six percentage points in May, following criticism over the government’s interest in purchasing the local assets of Spanish oil company Repsol.

Polling firm Datum said that 54 percent approve of Humala, down from 60 percent in the previous month, daily La Republica reported.

The president’s disapproval rating rose to 41 percent from 34 percent in the prior month.

The poll of 1,216 people had a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points. It was taken from May 3 to May 7.

While Humala’s popularity declined, it is still very high compared to his predecessors and higher than his own ratings in much of last year. Humala’s approval rating reached about 40 percent last year, when the government was struggling to deal with social conflicts in the mining sector.

The latest controversy to drag down Humala’s approval rating was over the government’s interest in purchasing a stake in Repsol’s Peruvian assets through state-owned oil company Petroperu.

The administration came under fire over concerns that it was trying to boost the state’s role in the economy, rather than promote private-sector investments.

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