Minister resigns in Brazil scandal

Rio de Janeiro (AP) - Brazil's Finance Minister, Rubens Ricupero (right) has resigned after boasting in a private chat - accidentally transmitted - that he slanted economic data to help the government-backed candidate for president in October's election, Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

President Itamar Franco said he was 'shocked and perplexed' by the minister's comments, but refused to elaborate.

Mr Ricupero had told a television reporter in a conversation he thought was private that he was Mr Cardoso's 'big vote-getter'.

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