RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Brazil's interim President Michel Temer, who was loudly booed at the Olympic opening ceremony, won't have to face the same jeering crowds when the Rio Games end.
His press office said Tuesday that he won't attend the closing ceremony, ending days of speculation after he told journalists last week that he should go. A presidential spokesperson told The Associated Press that it's not protocol for a head of state to attend the farewell.
Some Brazilian media are taking Temer's expected absence as a diplomatic snub after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would attend the closing ceremony to represent Tokyo, which is hosting the 2020 Summer Games.
Rio organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada said he hadn't been informed of Temer's plans.
"We haven't received this information officially," Andrada said. "We cannot assess who will have the honor of receiving the prime minister."
Temer has kept a low profile since taking over for the suspended President Dilma Rousseff in May. The closing ceremony Aug. 21 comes just a few days before the Brazilian senate is scheduled to vote on whether to impeach Rousseff.
While Brazilians blame Rousseff for widespread corruption in her Workers' Party and for steering the economy into its deepest recession in decades, they haven't warmed to her replacement. From Day 1, the games have been marred by Brazilians bringing signs to venues reading "Fora Temer" ("Out with Temer" in English), a call for the removal of the politician whom many accuse of trying to gain power he could never have obtained at the ballot box.