Duque’s approval rating plummets as Colombia’s anti-government protests persist

Protesters burning a doll depicting the president's political patron on Bogota's Bolivar Square. (Image: Stefan Roolvink)

The approval rating of Colombia’s President Ivan Duque has plummeted to 24% amid ongoing anti-government protests, pollster Invamer said Wednesday.

According to the pollster, 70% of the country disapproves of the president.

Duque’s approval rating has dropped 13 points since July and is at its lowest point since he took office in August last year.

Ivan Duque’s Approval rating

Source: Invamer

Pollster Yanhaas said that 75% of Colombians disapproved of how the president is handling ongoing anti-government protests that are led by students, labor unions and indigenous groups.

The disapproval rating of Duque’s political patron, former President Alvaro Uribe, reached an all-time high of 66% with only 26% approving of the far-right politician, according to Invamer.

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Government in the corner

The record disapproval rating further corners the Duque administration that has been unable to violently repress protests demanding major changes in the government’s economic and peace policies.

According to 79% of those interviewed by Invamer, the country is negative about the direction in which the country is going.

Such pessimism hasn’t been measured since August 2013 when Duque’s predecessor, former President Juan Manuel Santos, was dealing with major farmer protests.

According to Invamer, 89% believe unemployment is getting worse, 88% believe public security is deteriorating and 84% believe corruption is worsening.

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Negotiating a way out

The poll comes a day before government representatives sit down with leaders of the national strikes that have triggered two weeks of almost constant protests throughout the country.

The strike leaders want the government to repeal widely disapproved labor and tax reforms and effectively implement peace policies fiercely rejected by the ruling Democratic Center party of Duque and Uribe.

The government sat down with the strike leaders for the first time on Tuesday, but has yet to agree to negotiate.

With the president’s public approval plummeting and protests enjoying majority support, it is unclear how Duque is going to negotiate his way out of trouble without making major concessions.

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