San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

President’s Ratings Rise

THE public’s approval rating ofPresident Abel Pacheco has rebounded significantlyfrom four months ago, with 45%of those polled describing his work as goodor very good, according to the latest Unimerpoll conducted for the daily La Nación.Pacheco still has not reached the morethan 60% approval he held in December2002, although the number is a markedimprovement from less than 30% earlierthis year.Only 22% considered Pacheco’s jobbad or very bad, while 31% said his effortsare “regular.”The rebound is related to Pacheco’srole in confronting the corruption scandalsthe country has faced recently, accordingto La Nación.Despite the corruption scandals thathave hit several state institutions, satisfactionwith most public institutions and newsmedia also increased in the last fivemonths, with the exception of the SupremeElections Tribunal and radio news.Six in 10 of those polled said they wereashamed by the corruption scandals, but84% believe the issues have given thecountry an opportunity to change direction.Corruption replaced crime and violenceas the most worrisome issue amongthe population.MORE than half of those polled saidthe Legislative Assembly should approvethe Permanent Fiscal Reform Plan. Onlytwo in 10 people said they are against theplan. Three in 10 reported having noopinion.Four in 10 respondents said theLegislative Assembly should ratify theCentral American Free-Trade Agreementwith the United States (CAFTA), whilefour in 10 said it should be rejected.Eight in 10 respondents said the country’seconomy has worsened.Those who said they have no interest invoting increased to 70% from 67% in July.The survey took place from Nov. 24 toDec. 4 with door-to-door interviews of1,408 people throughout the country. Thepoll claims a margin of error of plus orminus 2.6%.

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