TRE-CE recognizes just cause for 14 deputies and substitutes to leave PDT without losing their mandate

TRE-CE recognizes just cause for 14 deputies and substitutes to leave PDT without losing their mandate
TRE-CE recognizes just cause for 14 deputies and substitutes to leave PDT without losing their mandate
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The Regional Electoral Court of Ceará (TRE-CE) recognized just cause for 14 PDT state deputies, including incumbents and substitutes, to leave the party without risk of losing their mandate.

The decision, in judgment this Wednesday, 3, is in favor of the request of parliamentarians, allied with senator Cid Gomes (PSB) and governor Elmano de Freitas (PT), and against the PED leadership, linked to the former mayor of Fortaleza Roberto Cláudio, the mayor of the Capital José Sarto and federal deputy André Figueiredo, national president of the party.

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There was unanimity in recognizing just cause for disaffiliation. The seven judges understood that there was serious personal political discrimination against the parliamentarians. But there was disagreement on the other arguments.

The majority of judges did not consider the consent letters granted when Cid Gomes was president of the party.

There were two votes in favor of the thesis of substantial change and distortion of the party program, including the rapporteur. But the majority, of five votes, was against this argument.

The decision is not definitive, as there are still embargoes on the TRE-CE itself and an appeal with the Superior Electoral Court (TSE). The trial takes place in the wake of the internal split in PDT Ceará that has been going on since 2022.

State deputies and alternates who requested permission to disaffiliate:

  1. Antonio Granja
  2. Bruno Pedrosa
  3. William Bismarck
  4. Guilherme Landim
  5. Jehovah Mota
  6. Lia Gomes
  7. Marcos Sobreira
  8. Oriel Nunes
  9. Osmar Baquit
  10. Romeo Aldigueri
  11. Salmito Filho
  12. Sergio Aguiar
  13. Tin Gomes
  14. Helaine Coelho

The judgement

The defenses of both parties, the deputies and the PDT Nacional, made oral arguments. The parliamentarians’ defense reinforced three points: 1) obtaining letters of consent; 2) the occurrence of “serious political discrimination” and 3) the occurrence of a “substantial change in the party program”.

The PDT defense lawyer countered point by point, rejecting the allegations of political persecution, stating that deputies remain in leadership positions and committees and that there was no deviation from the program on the part of the party, asking that the process be rejected.

Consent letter

The case’s rapporteur, Rogério Feitosa Carvalho Mota, voted against the validity of the letters of consent for disaffiliation, granted when senator Cid Gomes, now in the PSB, was president of PDT Ceará. The magistrate followed the opinion of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and made a distinction in relation to the case of deputy Evandro Leitão, president of the Legislative Assembly and who was authorized to disaffiliate.

Mota understood that the consent to Evandro’s departure was given before the national PDT act, in a meeting on October 27th. The letters of consent were approved on November 8th. Evandro’s had been on August 25th. Thus, the rapporteur understood that the granting of letters of consent to the 14 deputies was contrary to the resolution of the national executive and, therefore, void. The majority of judges followed the rapporteur’s understanding on this point.

The decision is based on the result of a meeting held on November 8, when the PDT Ceará Directory, at the time led by Cid Gomes, approved a “mass request” for letters of consent from parliamentarians to disaffiliate from the party. On the same day, the PDT national command annulled all consent granted to state and federal deputies during a meeting led by Cid Gomes.

The rapporteur reaffirmed that the argument involving the letters would not be valid to justify disaffiliation without loss of mandate. “I understand, at this point, that the letters of consent granted under the auspices of the national executive resolution issued prior to the creation of the aforementioned documents are unfeasible for the purposes of justifying party disaffiliation”, no.

Severe personal political discrimination

However, the rapporteur accepted the argument that there was serious discrimination personal politics. He cites among the elements the dismissal of the state directory, without adequate argument, which would have impacted parliamentarians who asked for permission to leave.

“I understand that there is collective discrimination, the fact that a letter of consent was issued and then revoked increased political discrimination. I’ll start at the end, breaking some of the anxiety of those waiting for the result”, said judge Rogerio.

He continued: “Regarding discrimination and personal political persecution, although the concepts are not synonymous, the circumstances reported constitute both rights violations in unison”, he highlighted.

The rapporteur pointed out that there was a demonstration of persecution and serious discrimination through: “dismissals of party leaders and threat of expulsion due to unproven party infidelity, and also the compulsory dismissal of municipal directorates of Aracati and Tamboril, led by two of the authors, without justification proper”.

“There is evidence of a hostile environment and unsustainable political discrimination for the authors to remain in the association, justifying the hypothesis of just cause for disaffiliation without loss of mandate”, he concluded.

Understanding this point was the only unanimous among court representatives Ceará.

Substantial change and distortion of the party program

The rapporteur also accepted the argument that there was a substantial change and distortion of the PDT party program. He considers that the situation cannot be confused with internal differences.

The judge cited the political rupture since the 2022 elections. He cited the appointment of Raimundo Gomes de Matos, a member of the PL, to direct the Foundation for Children and Family Citizens (Funci). Gomes de Matos had been a candidate for vice-governor in 2022 on the ticket of Captain Wagner (União Brasil), the government group’s main opponent. In addition to belonging to PL, Jair Bolsonaro’s party.

The rapporteur cited in his reasoning that, if the party reviewed its positions, it would not be legitimate to force party members to remain. He recognized that the argument is, to a certain extent, debatable and left himself open to complementing the decision to arrive at the best path. “I understand, a priori, that there was a distortion of the party program”, he pointed out.

However, a discussion at the end, based on the dissenting vote of judge Daniel Carvalho, exposed new points on this specific point, rejecting that there had been a substantial change or distortion of the party program. “In this aspect, I follow the divergence in the sense of understanding that there was no substantial change,” said Daniel. The majority of judges chose to disagree with the rapporteur on this issue.

Wishes

According to the vote, Francisco Gladyson Pontes did not consider that there had been a substantial change and distortion of the party program, but accepted the serious personal political discrimination.

Glêdison Marques Fernandes, third to vote, had the same understanding.

Fourth to vote, Francisco Érico Carvalho Silveira followed the rapporteur in full, understanding that there was serious personal political discrimination and substantial change and distortion of the party program. Although considering that the letters of consent were not valid, he highlighted that the treatment given to them and the manner in which they were annulled reinforces the thesis of serious discrimination.

Fifth to vote, Daniel Carvalho Carneiro considered the letters of consent valid, as he understood that the annulment by the national executive did not meet the requirements established by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), with the right to contradictory and full defense. “That was not what happened here. Based on the resolution, it was simply annulled”, said the magistrate.

He also accepted the argument of serious personal political discrimination, but did not consider that there had been a substantial change and distortion of the party program. Carneiro understood that, although there is an old alliance between PT and PDT, there is no change in relation to this legislature, as PT and PDT were already on different sides.

The judge considers that the proximity to União Brasil could constitute distortion, but understands that there is no evidence in the case file. “I understand that the simple appointment to a municipal position does not mean a formal alliance.”

Sixth to vote, Luciano Nunes Maia Freire understood that there was serious personal political discrimination, but did not accept the thesis of substantial change and distortion of the party program. “What I see is a very serious crisis, publicized by the press and social media, internal to the party.”

At the end of the vote, the president of TRE-CE, Raimundo Nonato Silva Santos, voted for the understanding that there was serious personal political discrimination, but followed those who considered that there had been no substantial change and distortion of the party program.

MPE opinion

Last Monday, the 1st, the Public Electoral Ministry (MPE) issued a position contrary to the request of the PED parliamentarians. The opinion was attached to the case that was judged this Wednesday, 3rd, by the TRE-CE.

Signed by substitute regional electoral prosecutor Marina Romero de Vasconcelos, the text analyzes the allegations of the deputies, linked to senator Cid Gomes (PSB), to leave the party, according to them, because they were suffering “persecution and a situation of disrepute within the PDT”, which would have even prevented their “free actions”.

The prosecutor assesses that the letters of consent, voted while Cid was president of the PDT-CE, were annulled by the national leadership, which did not happen when deputy Evandro Leitão (PT) disaffiliated. In a similar case, the president of the Legislative Assembly (Alece), received a letter of consent, asked to disaffiliate from the PDT, won the case in the TRE-CE and joined the PT, where today he is trying to become a candidate for mayor.

“This is because, in that action, it was understood that it was not demonstrated that the letter of consent was no longer valid or effective, either by decision of the Common Court or by an internal party revocation process of the act, and, thus, it can (and must) be considered by the Electoral Court. Here, the same position is taken, although the result is different and contrary to the authors’ request, considering that the letters of consent presented in this process were annulled internally”, says the prosecutor.

Updated at 1:30 p.m.


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