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Hundreds of NPP Supporters Unite to Commemorate Barbosa’s 155th Anniversary

By on August 7, 2016

NPP gubernatorial candidate Ricardo Rosselló

NPP gubernatorial candidate Ricardo Rosselló

SAN JUAN – Hundreds of New Progressive Party (NPP) followers gathered Sunday in Bayamón to commemorate the 155th anniversary of one of the Puerto Rico statehood movement’s founders and to see for the first time in public the leadership of the party united ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.

One of the most moving moments for the statehooders at the event was Guaynabo Mayor Héctor O’Neill appearance, who had supported Pierluisi’s gubernatorial candidacy on the grounds that Rosselló didn’t have the experience necessary for the position. Nevertheless, on Sunday O’Neill supported Rosselló’s candidacy and urged voting NPP in the general election.

The party’s vice president, former Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz, was strongly applauded at the event as well. During the primaries, he did not support either gubernatorial hopeful in order to serve as a bridge between the two banks once the race ended, which party supporters attending the Bayamón event recognized.

Rosselló, meanwhile, used his speech to reiterate his intention to carry out a strong effort to achieve statehood, arguing the benefits it would provide the island and how useful it would be to end the commonwealth government’s fiscal crisis.

The party nominee also attacked his main rival, Popular Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate David Bernier, when saying his nomination did not represent change for the island and that Bernier himself is proof of that, having been second in command during the administration of Gov. Alejandro García Padilla.

(Inter News service photo)

(Inter News service photo)

Rosselló emphasized that he and his team have a plan ready to be implemented, were they to win the November election, that takes into account the financial oversight and management board that will be addressing the critical situation faced by the government due to its lack of resources and massive public debt.

Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi sent a statement, urging people to vote for the party in the next election.

“Today, as we remember Barbosa, I reaffirm that the best way to advance the statehood cause is by voting for the full ticket under the palm [NPP logo] in the upcoming elections,” Pierluisi stated.

The primary for the party’s nomination for governor on June 5, was rough contest that Rosselló won by an amount far lower than polls had suggested.

A considerable number of politicians who supported Pierluisi’s candidacy in the primaries showed up as well, including Orocovis Mayor Gardy Colón and Fajardo Mayor Aníbal Meléndez.

Guaynabo’s O’Neill said an NPP win is needed even more so due to the arrival of the fiscal board and because of a “fractured” PDP in terms of its ideals.

Besides Rosselló’s father, former Gov. Pedro Rosselló, and candidate for resident commissioner Jenniffer González, other prominent figures who attended the event were former Gov. Luis Fortuño and cardiologist Iván González Cancel.

Former NPP Govs. Luis Fortuño, left, and Pedro Rosselló embrace, while gubernatorial candidate Ricardo Rosselló looks on.

Former NPP Govs. Luis Fortuño, left, and Pedro Rosselló embrace, while gubernatorial candidate Ricardo Rosselló looks on.

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