Jardim's party has announced it is expelling over 400 militants from the party for being candidates or supporting candidatures that ran against the official PSD candidatures. This number is equals the number of expulsions the party is carrying out on the mainland, for the same reason. However, the number in Madeira has been admitted to rise to over 500.
These expulsions naturally have a great impact on the current party leadership struggle. Those who ran for independent candidatures are, if not necessarily supporters of Albuquerque, certainly disaffected with Jardim's dysfunctional authoritarianism. By expelling dissidents Jardim obviously intends to maintain his grip on the Party and ensure his own reelection, or the election of his "dummy candidate", Manuel António.
Electoral fraud has now become an issue within the PSD itself. Albuquerque has complained that he has no access to the register of militants and that many new militants have been admitted, but the date of admission have been left blank, to allow manipulation of voting rights. The former EuroMP, Sergio Marques, has now also announced his candidature and has likewise appealed to fair play - that is for Jardim not to cheat and manipulate all processes and procedures to ensure a win. Hardly likely.