Governor João Doria said today that he will not participate in the first debate of the caucuses that will choose the PSDB candidate for the Presidency of the Republic in 2022. Scheduled for next Tuesday, the event is being organized by the newspapers “O Globo” and Value and will be broadcast in real time on the websites and social networks of both vehicles.
In the letter in which he communicates his absence, the governor alleges that the PSDB did not previously dialogue with the candidates about the rules and that “the format did not allow for an understanding between everyone”. As foreseen in the rules agreed with the party, and signed by the PSDB board and by the other pre-candidates, even without Doria’s presence, the debate is maintained among the other participants of the caucuses: the governor of Rio Grande do Sul, Eduardo Leite, and the former mayor of Manaus, Arthur Virgílio.
The holding of the event was publicly announced by “O Globo” and the PSDB on September 3rd and since the beginning of the organization the party had informed that all pre-candidates – at the time Senator Tasso Jereissati was also in the dispute – had become committed to participating with the rules that were established by the newspapers. Last Friday, “O Globo” and Valor formally sent the party a document with all the detailed rules. Yesterday, in the early afternoon, a meeting was held with representatives of the parties and advisors of the three pre-candidates for clarification and minor adjustments.
The only divergence presented during the meeting this Thursday was in relation to the duration of the event: the campaigns of Doria and Virgílio preferred it to have an hour and a half, while Leite and the national leadership of the PSDB supported the original proposal, of around two hours long. The “O Globo” and Value they were willing to analyze any request to change the rules, as long as it was pleaded in a consensual manner by the toucans. This Friday, however, Doria informed that he will not go to the debate but, in the note, he does not explain which established rule he disagrees with.
By the agreed rules, the debate would have questions between pre-candidates with a free theme and questions from columnists of “Globo” and of Value. The model of debates with free questions between candidates and journalists’ questions for candidates has been consecrated and used for decades in majority disputes in Brazil and in the world, and has even become a hallmark of debates in the North American parties’ caucuses.
The PSDB has not yet commented. The president of the PSDB, Bruno Araújo, only lamented the absence of Doria: “GLOBO fulfills its Institutional commitment to promote the debate of ideas that contributes to the Brazilian democratic process. The preliminary events promoted by the PSDB are the biggest event in our democratic history in the choice of a pre-candidate for President. I’m sorry, but I respect the decision of Governor João Doria. On Tuesday,19 we will have the opportunity to know better what two of our pre-candidates for the Presidency of the Republic think.”
The full note of João Doria
“The governor of São Paulo João Doria will not participate in Grupo Globo’s debate in the PSDB’s caucuses. Doria has always defended, participated and supported debates. However, the rules that would define Grupo Globo’s debate were not previously discussed among the candidate teams , as previously agreed with the party. The format did not allow for an understanding between everyone. Which would be reasonable and necessary, especially in the case of caucuses between candidates of the same party. There are no enemies.
We clarify that Grupo Globo has no responsibility for the imposition of rules. But the PSDB itself lacked the care in dialoguing in advance with all the candidates about the rules of this debate. The debates should value the opportunity for each candidate to offer their vision for Brazil on issues such as education, health, employment, environment, social protection, economic growth and other fields of public management.
Doria, who has always participated in debates in electoral disputes, reaffirms the importance of these meetings in the construction of democracy. And it undertakes to participate in debates during the previews, as long as the rules are defined jointly and not unilaterally.”
Doria — Photo: SP State Government