By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – President Dilma Rousseff met on Tuesday afternoon with some of her cabinet members and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to try to revert the negative mood hovering over the administration. In the agenda to increase Rousseff’s popularity are plans to intensify trips within Brazil so that the President can publicize the positive actions of her presidency.
According to Agencia Brasil, during the meeting Lula suggested measures that the President could adopt to implement a ‘positive agenda’ for her government. Among them is the need for Rousseff to travel more throughout the country and talk to the public.
The need for greater interaction between the President and Brazilians has been one of the main criticisms voiced by Lula in relation to his protege. At the beginning of July, Lula told a group full of oil workers that Rousseff should spend more time in contact with the population.
“I think that she [President Dilma Rousseff] has to prioritize walking around this country. She has to hit the road. Instead of going on TV or on the Internet and hearing people criticize her, she has to go to the streets and talk to the population, who is cheering for her and wanting her to govern this country the best way possible,” he said at the time.
In addition to the President, Lula suggested that cabinet members also travel throughout the country to publicize government projects and accomplishments. The former leader was also said to have suggested that Rousseff have more meeting with social movements, some of which have harshly criticized the President’s second term and have even called for her impeachment.
Rousseff has been facing tough criticism at the beginning of her second term, with an ailing economy, rising inflation and unemployment, and a widespread corruption scandal involving one of the country’s largest companies, Petrobras.
According to the latest CNI (National Industry Confederation) opinion poll, released on July 1st, the Rousseff government was considered bad or terrible by 68 percent of the population, with only nine percent considering the administration good or excellent. The survey also showed that 83 percent of the people did not approve of the way the President governed and 78 percent did not trust Rousseff.