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Peru's president is loved by CEOs, hated by almost everyone else

Peru's President Dina Boluarte. REUTERS/Sebastian Castaneda

Peru's President Dina Boluarte. REUTERS/Sebastian Castaneda

Published Jul 15, 2023


Peruvian business leaders have embraced President Dina Boluarte, even as her approval ratings crater with a population angry over a weak economy and deadly protests that followed her predecessor's impeachment seven months ago.

The business-friendly president was approved by 71% of chief executive officers interviewed by Ipsos. The pollster spoke to 136 CEOs of Peru's 2,500 largest companies and its findings were published by magazine Semana Economica.

While the sample of CEOs is relatively small, it confirms a trend seen in other polls, showing that wealthier Peruvians tend to see Boluarte in a more favorable light. In a late June survey by IEP, the president's approval rating was just 12% among the overall population, but 22% among the rich.

A poll published earlier that month by Ipsos also had Boluarte's approval at a record low 14%, putting her among the world's most unpopular leaders.

Boluarte was elected vice president in a leftist ticket led by Pedro Castillo, who was approved by only 1% of CEOs in a similar poll last year. He was impeached and arrested in December after trying to illegally dissolve congress, catapulting Boluarte into Peru's highest office - a fragile position in a country that has had six presidents since 2016.

Complicating things for Boluarte, Peru's economy has performed poorly so far this year. Massive protests demanding her resignation further hurt activity, which has contracted in the first four months of the year. The El Nino weather pattern expected in the next few months could cause additional damage.

Boluarte has said she will not resign, while human rights organizations have accused her of excessive force in the handling of protests that left almost 50 dead. A new wave of demonstrations is expected to resume next week, although it remains unclear if they will grow to be significant.