President Ollanta Humala got a bit of a boost after an opinion poll showed that his approval rating has increased to above 30% for the first time since February.
The poll by Datum said that Humala had a 32% approval rating in August, up eight percentage points from 24% in the July, according to daily Peru.21.
That was the highest level since a 39% approval in February this year.
It comes just after Huamala completes his third year in office, which was marked by Peru’s July 28 independence holiday.
Many analysts were not expecting the jump. “I’m really surprised that Humala’s approval rating has increased so much, because I don’t see a clear cause for it to happen,” said analyst Agustin Figueroa.
Analyst Santiago Pedraglio said that the increase was likely due to two factors. The first being a positive impact from the July 28 holidays and the second is a perception among many citizens that the government is finally starting to tackle crime and insecurity.
Indeed, the President’s new Interior Minister, Daniel Urresti, has a tough and blunt style that appeals to many Peruvians, with a public show of improving security and his personal participation in police operations. Criticism from less enthusiastic analysts about more form than substance, and from human rights watchers on rough tactics has not tarnished his public popularity.
Urresti, a former military officer, saw his popularity soar 17 percentage points in August to 46%.
“No one increases 17 points from one month to another,” said Figueroa. “It seems really strange to me. His work hasn’t been fantastic for such an exaggerated increase.”