Brazilian center-right party Democratas moved one step closer to confirming its merger with the Social Liberal Party (PSL) ahead of the 2022 elections. Senior party officials approved the proposal after a meeting in Brasília. Only Labor Minister Onyx Lorenzoni and delegates from the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul voted against the move.
The PSL followed suit and did the same. One month from now, the two parties will hold a joint convention to tie the knot. The process will only be finalized after approval from electoral courts, which should take roughly three months.
As things stand, the two groups hold 82 of the lower house’s 513 seats, combined. However, one concern regarding the merger is that whenever parties are created or absorbed into another, there is a window of opportunity for members to switch their allegiances without risk of losing their seat. While President Bolsonaro has long since cut his ties with the PSL, 30 of the party’s 54 lower house representatives are loyal to the far-right leader and may seek to jump ship.
Democratas leaders say the new entity will be called União Brasil (Brazil Union) and will go by the number 44 on Brazilian voting machines.