A conclave of unpopular leaders!

July 8th, 2008 - 12:28 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Gordon Brown

Toyako, July 8 (IANS) Japanese media are deriding it as the conclave of the unpopular. Most of the G8 leaders, assembled at this idyllic Japanese resort for the summit of the world’s most industrialised nations and economic communities, are those whose approval ratings have plummeted back home and whose power base is becoming increasingly unstable. Prime examples are US President George Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.

According to Japan’s The Yomiuri Shimbun, even as Fukuda’s approval ratings touch rock bottom at home, he is rubbing shoulders with many heads of state and government at the summit who are “struggling to win voters over at home”.

In the US, Bush’s approval ratings are at their lowest with an LA Times poll saying only 23 percent of registered voters approved of his term as president.

Life is no bed of roses for the European leaders in attendance either, the paper pointed out.

Other than German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose approval ratings are still quite good, most attending leaders have been enfeebled by either poor handling of their economy following the global financial crisis, like British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, or are those like French President Nicolas Sarkozy whose popularity has dropped below 30 percent because of his mishandling of governance and personal affairs.

In Japan, there is talk of a general election. The paper said tongues are wagging that the ailing prime minister is trying to turn around his fortunes by making a success of this major summit where Japan is putting up its best face.

The paper has made no mention of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is only attending the G8 summit as a member of the five Outreach nations (India, China, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico) that is discussing specific global issues with G8 leaders at special sessions. But the fact remains that Manmohan Singh himself is facing a tough ride back home following the political crisis surrounding his much-touted nuclear deal with the United States with his Communist allies threatening to withdraw support to his government any time.

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