Ferrer Announces New PDP Work Team
SAN JUAN – Isabela Mayor Charlie Delgado Altieri was designated Monday the Popular Democratic Party’s (PDP) secretary-general as part of the new work team led by newly elected party leader Héctor Ferrer.
The announcement was made in a press conference Monday at the party’s headquarters in Puerta de Tierra one day after it elected its new president and others during a General Council assembly in Barceloneta.
“This duty isn’t new because I have previously done work for the Popular [Democratic] Party. To my people in Isabela, I inform you there is a work team ready to assist me in continuing my efforts as mayor, as I have done until now,” Delgado Altieri said after announcing his designation.
Ferrer was accompanied at the press conference by PDP the minority whips in the House and Senate, Rafael “Tatito” Hernández and Eduardo Bhatia, respectively. PDP Electoral Commissioner Guillermo San Antonio Acha, who was also present at the conference, will be in charge of the new president’s team.
Discusses Commonwealth Ahead of Status Plebiscite
In response to questions by the press, Delgado Altieri stressed that the PDP must solve the political-status issue that has loomed over the party since the approval of the Law for the Immediate Decolonization of Puerto Rico, which establishes a national plebiscite in which voters must decide between “statehood” and “free association/independence,” excluding commonwealth, which the PDP advocates.
“It is time to address this issue and Héctor is clear that we must do it,” he said.
Ferrer criticized the June 11 status referendum because it excludes “hundreds of thousands” of Puerto Ricans who identify neither with statehood nor independence, as it was reported that ballots left blank won’t affect the result of the plebiscite.
As for a possible definition of “free-associated state,” or commonwealth, he said the party will look for a definition that will unify its supporters rather than divide them, as occurred with the two status options presented in the Senate when discussing the referendum: “sovereign” and “enhanced” commonwealth, both ultimately dismissed.
As doubts loom over the PDP’s decision to either participate or boycott the status plebiscite, Ferrer indicated the issue will be addressed in the party’s next general assembly, which will be convened by mid-April.
However, the PDP president stressed that the commonwealth’s definition won’t be decided to appease to statehood or independence advocates.
With Delgado Altieri’s designation, Ferrer emphasized the new leadership’s goal to unify and strengthen the party after its defeat in the general elections.