July 6, 2015 / 2:21 PM / 2 years ago

Chile president's approval rating hits record low: poll

Chile's President Michelle Bachelet arrives at the EU-CELAC Latin America summit in Brussels, Belgium June 10, 2015. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chilean President Michelle Bachelet’s approval rating fell to a record low in June after a month of political shakeups and protests, an opinion poll showed Monday.

Bachelet’s rating fell to 27 percent of those surveyed by pollster GfK Adimark in June from 29 percent in May, the lowest rating over her two administrations.

Her disapproval rating in June climbed to 68 percent, one of the worst levels of any president since Adimark began doing such surveys in 2006.

“Though the Copa America (soccer tournament) captured a large part of the media’s attention during the past month, June was quite turbulent in other areas,” the pollster said in its report.

Adimark said that Bachelet was likely hurt by the resignation of the government’s chief of staff at the beginning of the month and her subsequent failure to fill the post promptly.

Also chipping away at Bachelet’s image and that of her government were a series of environmental emergencies in smog-choked Santiago, disruptive public-transport strikes, and massive demonstrations by professors and students demanding university reforms.

Left-leaning Bachelet led Chile, the world’s top copper exporter, from 2006 to 2010 and took office for her second term in March 2014. Though she began her mandate with an approval rating of 54 percent, Chileans have steadily soured on the president as sluggish economic growth and scandals involving money and politics have rocked the nation.

The main opposition right-wing coalition, however, has failed to capitalize on Bachelet’s woes, with both it and the governing New Majority coalition now facing disapproval ratings of more than 70 percent.

Political institutions in general have suffered in the eyes of the public, with approval of Chile’s senate and chamber of deputies falling to the lowest figures since the poll began.

The survey polled 1,053 people by telephone from June 8 to June 30. Its margin of error was 3 percentage points.

Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Peter Galloway

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