Bernier convenes meeting to discuss Rivera Schatz’s plebiscite request
SAN JUAN – Former gubernatorial candidate and Popular Democratic Party (PDP) President David Bernier called a meeting with the party’s status committee to discuss Senate president Thomas Rivera Schatz’s plebiscite bill.
During the meeting scheduled for Thursday afternoon, Bernier and his party hope to outline a strategy to respond to the bill and address the possible exclusion of options other than statehood or independence.
“We have to address the status issue from a perspective where all movements fit in, where there is open participation, so that the process that is eventually established includes all political parties,” Bernier said in a radio interview on Radio Isla 1320.
The PDP president said that the elimination of additional annexation options does not contribute significant changes to the island’s current situation. According to Bernier, over the past few years the insistence in eliminating other annexation proposals to give greater advantage to the pro-statehood movement has been unsuccessful.
Despite his concern, Bernier did not rule out the bill and emphasized that political parties must find a permanent route that can solve the status issue. “The Popular Party will evaluate it seriously, will make specific recommendations, will make specific proposals to the project,” he said, pointing out that his wish is to make it possible for the bill to have concrete results.
Regarding the labor reform bill proposed by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, Bernier argued that although the private sector should not have to bear more burdens, the government should rule out eliminating workers’ benefits.
“Our workers have been suffering for a long time due to the austerity policies that past governments—both the last administration and that of [former Gov.] Luis Fortuño—have been implementing,” Bernier said, recalling that previous similar measures failed to yield expected results.