By Alexandre Caverni and Rodrigo Viga Gaier
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Sunday he was postponing an event to launch his re-election bid in affiliation with the Liberal Party after talks with the party’s leader.
Bolsonaro said in a televised interview from Dubai that the “marriage needs to be perfect” and indicated the Nov. 22 event would be canceled.
“After message exchanges on Sunday, we have decided to postpone the affiliation ceremony,” Valdemar Costa Neto, president of the Liberal Party, said in a statement. The party did not schedule a new date.
Costa Neto had announced on Wednesday that Bolsonaro would join the party. It was Bolsonaro’s first step toward building a campaign for the election next October, when he is likely to face off against former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Neither has officially declared their candidacy.
Bolsonaro has also held talks with the Progressive Party, which includes Lower House speaker Arthur Lira.
Bolsonaro was elected with the Social Liberal Party (PSL) in 2018 but left the following year after a dispute with the party’s management. Since then he has not affiliated with any other political party, but he will need one for his re-election bid. The president has seen his poll numbers fall over his mishandling of the pandemic, a weak economy and rising inflation.
(Reporting by Alexandre Caverni in Sao Paulo and Rodrigo Viga Gaier in Rio de Janeiro; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)