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Brazil center-right PSDB party presidential primary stalled by app failure

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November 21, 2021

BRASILIA (Reuters) – The Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB) was unable on Sunday to nominate its presidential candidate for next year’s election because of a voting app failure, delaying a decision between the main contenders, Joao Doria and Eduardo Leite.

The center-right party said it decided to put voting on pause until a future date after the app failure denied access to many of the 44,700 members registered to vote, including figures such as former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

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Doria, the governor of Sao Paulo state, favors resuming the vote this week, a spokesperson said, while Leite, governor of Rio Grande do Sul, wants to put it off until February.

The party will decide when to resume voting at a meeting later on Sunday, it said in a statement.

The PSDB governed Brazil from 1995-2002 during Cardoso’s two terms that modernized the economy and started social welfare programs that were later continued by leftist governments.

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The party’s role in Brazilian politics has since diminished and it now holds just half the seats it had a decade ago in Brazil’s Congress.

In the 2018 election, won by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, the PSDB’s candidate, Geraldo Alckmin, won just 4.8% of the vote.

The party, which has shifted right since it was in office, hopes to raise its profile by picking a candidate who can be a middle-of-the-road alternative in 2022 to Bolsonaro and leftist former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has a comfortable lead in early opinion polls, although he has yet to declare his candidacy.

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(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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