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Senator Aécio Neves Removes Interim Chairman of the PSDB, Furthering Divide within the Party

11/10/2017 - 11h36

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TALITA FERNANDES
FROM BRASÍLIA
THAIS BILENKY
FROM SÃO PAULO

After being pressed by PSDB (Brazilian Social Democracy Party) cabinet members in the federal administration, senator Aécio Neves (Minas Gerais) removed interim chairman Tasso Jereissati (Ceará). Mr. Neves, who is still officially the chairman of the party, said that his goal was to guarantee an impartial atmosphere leading up to elections that will define party leaders.

Senator Jereissati and the governor of Goiás, Marconi Perillo, will face off against each other at the PSDB convention, scheduled for December 9th, to see who will lead the party.

Renato Costa - 14.jun.2017/Folhapress
Interim chairman Tasso Jereissati (PSDB-CE)
Interim chairman Tasso Jereissati (PSDB-CE)

Allies of senator Neves, who supports Mr. Perillo, are accusing Mr. Jereissati of using the PSDB machine to promote his own campaign. They are also bothered by Mr. Jereissati's belief that the party should depart from the Temer administration.

Senator Neves went in person to speak to Mr. Jereissati in his office, requesting that he step down, but heard from the interim chairman that he would have to exonerate him. The conversation heated quickly and could be heard from the hallway.

"This PSDB of theirs is not the party I call my own. Nor is it the PSDB of [former president] Fernando Henrique [Cardoso] or [former São Paulo governor] Mário Covas", said Mr. Jereissati. Party members believe that Senator Neves' actions gave cabinet members of the Temer administration some additional breathing room. The party is divided on whether or not to continue supporting the Temer administration. Former São Paulo governor Alberto Goldman will be the interim chairman until the convention in December.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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