Monday, September 21, 2020

Candidate for alternate president of CEE put to a vote by referendum

By on September 2, 2020

State Elections Commission (CB archives)

SAN JUAN — Electoral commissioners have 48 hours to vote in a referendum on whether they endorse the candidate proposed by the electoral commissioner of the New Progressive Party (NPP), Héctor Joaquín Sánchez, as alternate president of the State Elections Commission (CEE by its Spanish initials).

In an interview with Caribbean Business, Sánchez confirmed that the candidate submitted was the same person who he submitted on Tuesday and was not evaluated by the other commissioners.

“A referendum was circulated for them to answer within 48 hours, with the résumé of the proposed candidate,” said Sánchez.

Election commissioners agreed on Tuesday to evaluate names of possible candidates for the position of alternate president and once they reached a consensus on the person, they would vote to unanimously demand the resignation of the president of the CEE, Juan Ernesto Dávila.

However, after meeting for an hour, the commissioners of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP), the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP by its Spanish initials), Proyecto Dignidad and Movimiento Victoria Ciudadana rose from the table denouncing that “Sánchez had deceived them.”

PIP commissioner Roberto Iván Aponte explained that Sánchez told them that the NPP had evaluated five names, but he was in a position to present three of them. However, Sánchez insisted in submitting one candidate at a time for consideration.

“The new electoral law does not require me to present a shortlist. The law only says that one candidate will submit,” Sánchez.

The commissioner of the PDP, Nicolás Gautier, said in an interview on Univisión’s Jugando Pelota Dura talk show that the proposed candidate did not have the experience necessary to assume the presidency of the CEE. According to Gautier, the nominee has only served as an alternate commissioner and has never had to assume the responsibility of running an electoral event.

The minority party commissioners have demanded the resignation of Dávila for the poor performance shown during the primaries held last month. Seven complaints have been filed against Dávila before the Appellate Court, four of which were dismissed on Wednesday.

The commissioners will meet on Thursday in plenary session to discuss the regulations for absentee voting among other key issues so that the election can be held on Nov. 3.