García Padilla Amends Special Session For the Second Time
SAN JUAN—Governor Alejandro García Padilla amended Wednesday evening for the second time the convocation to the fifth special session, which began three days before Christmas Day, to include two appointments that add up to the 30 appointments that the Legislature is slated to consider.
In the amendment, which was delivered to the Senate at 4:00 p.m., the appointment of attorney Claudia Juan García as Superior Court judge was eliminated in favor of the director of the Senate Finance Committee, José Orta, Caribbean Business learned. The appointment of Juan García was rejected by the Senate during the session on Wednesday morning. The second appointment is in the process of being made known.
At 4:00 p.m., the Senate had given consent to 16 appointments, including the two appointments to the Independent Special Prosecutor’s Panel (PFEI), which raised controversy in the House on Tuesday night, when they were considered in the lower chamber.
Just as the House, the Senate gave approval to the appointments of graduates Emmalind García and Rafael Ortiz Carrión as alternate members of PFEI. Both appointments were opposed by the New Progressive Party (NPP) delegation in the Senate.
According to NPP minority leader Larry Seilhamer, the short time in which the appointments were made —they were announced Tuesday in a late-last amendment by García Padilla—as well as the lack of information about the candidates makes it impossible to carry out a proper evaluation.
Seilhamer also said that, in the House, appointments to the PFEI were only endorsed by 24 representatives (14 abstained from voting). The NPP House delegation determined to fight the appointments in the courts.
In response, the President of the Senate, Eduardo Bhatia, defended the House’s approval of the appointments with 24 votes, although it requires 26 to approve legislative measures.