Bernier Accepts Invitation to Discuss Political Status
The gubernatorial candidate for the Popular Democratic Party (PDP), David Bernier, said on Monday he supported a proposal by Puerto Rico Independence Party (PIP) President Rubén Berríos Martínez to start a process to decolonize Puerto Rico.
However, Bernier conditioned his support to the agreement reached by the PDP government board, to the effect that the party will not assume a position on Puerto Rico’s political status until the U.S. Supreme Court reaches a decision on the Commonwealth v. Sánchez Valle case.
During a press conference in San Juan, in which he presented part of his campaign team, Bernier said he was open to dialogue with the PIP president and with the resident commissioner in Washington, D.C., and New Progressive Party (NPP) President Pedro Pierluisi on a plan to decolonize the island.
While Berrios’ proposal limits participation to the leaders of the three main political parties in Puerto Rico, Bernier said he wants to include all sectors in the discussion, including any other candidates who may be eventually confirmed as such by the State Elections Commission.
Regarding Pierluisi’s similar proposal, Bernier said he is open to evaluate the resident commissioner’s bill in the U.S. Congress proposing a “statehood ‘yes or no’” referendum, provided he has the opportunity to include amendments if necessary. Notwithstanding, he added that in-depth discussions on the matter must wait until the Supreme Court renders its decision.
During the press conference, Bernier announced the appointment of Liza Ortiz as campaign manager. Ortiz previously worked as chief of Aníbal Acevedo Vilá’s legislative office when Acevedo Vilá was minority speaker in the House of Representatives.
Bernier also appointed Javier González as campaign coordinator. González had worked as deputy secretary of state under Bernier’s incumbency as State secretary. David Verjel was named the campaign’s government program director and Samuel González as director of operations. Finally, former journalist Ana María Santiago was named communications director.