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Unpopular Brazil governor to step down early

December 2, 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The governor of Rio de Janeiro state says he’s stepping down early next year, some nine months before the end of his term.

Sergio Cabral says he will leave office at the end of March, allowing Vice Gov. Luiz Fernando Pezao to take office. Pezao is expected to run for governor in October’s elections.

Cabral’s announcement Monday came as his popularity numbers continue to plunge in the wake of mass protests earlier this year, fueled by public outrage at Brazil’s political class, which is widely seen as corrupt and ineffective. In Rio, demonstrators’ anger coalesced around Cabral, whose moderate party is in the governing coalition of President Dilma Rousseff.

Activists camped out in front of his beachfront apartment for months.

Cabral says he’s considering running for the Senate.

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