Thursday, September 21, 2017

PDP continues efforts in Washington against status referendum



By on March 20, 2017

PDP president Héctor Ferrer accused the chief executive of placing the financial oversight board's interests above public interest. (Felipe Torres/CB)

PDP President Héctor Ferrer. (Felipe Torres/CB)

SAN JUAN – The Popular Democratic Party (PDP) is still conducting its efforts in Washington, D.C. to deter the June 11 Puerto Rico political-status plebiscite proposed by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló‘s administration.

PDP President Héctor Ferrer seeks to hold a meeting with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions or his representatives to present a letter that outlines his party’s opposition to the plebiscite, arguing the referendum is rigged to result in an “artificial” majority for statehood.

“This week Héctor [Ferrer] intends to present a letter to the attorney general and one of his staffers, expressing our concern over this referendum,” stated Isabela Mayor and PDP Secretary-General Charlie Delgado Altieri.

The PDP aims to question the plebiscite’s legality because it doesn’t include the “Free Associated State,” or Commonwealth, as one of the eligible status options.

Advocates of the status referendum, led by the governor and Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz -who authored the bill that established the plebiscite-excluded the commonwealth option after Congress left no doubt about the territorial nature of that political status.

Last weekend, the PDP president said he will convene a general assembly on April 23 to decide the party’s next move on the proposed plebiscite.

Ferrer argued that the PDP is the “largest political alliance” in Puerto Rico, comprising voters who are neither pro-independence nor pro-statehood, and it is therefore unnecessary to define its ideological position ahead of the status referendum. Ferrer isn’t auhtorizing any party, organization or individual to represent the PDP’s position in the plebiscite, including party leaders such as Rep. Manuel Natal and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto.

The status referendum could potentially divide the PDP as things are.

The Immediate Decolonization Act states that the U.S. attorney general has until April 16 to report whether he approves of the plan proposed by Rosselló to hold the referendum; failure to do so will be seen as acceptance.

 

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