One of the two leading candidates for Brazil's presidential election in October, Dilma Rousseff, will leave her job as top cabinet minister on March 31, to launch her campaign, local media said on Sunday.
Rousseff, from the ruling Workers' Party, the PT, has been groomed by incumbent President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to succeed him in December and will resign as his chief of staff to begin campaigning, the Globo website said.
She has been gaining ground on her main rival, Jose Serra of the opposition PSDB party, polls have shown.
By law, Serra will also have to step down by April 3 as governor of Sao Paulo, Brazil's most populous and richest state.
Rousseff, speaking on Saturday in Porto Alegre, said she was leaving Lula's cabinet on March 31 and would make some low profile appearances at government events through June.
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 21 Mart 2010, 18:27