Mixed Feelings Among PIP Leadership, Yet They Remain Combative
SAN JUAN—The gubernatorial candidate for the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP), Maria de Lourdes Santiago, said she had “mixed feelings” regarding the results obtained by her party in the general elections, but stressed that the campaign will continue with the process of reinscription of her party.
“We have mixed feelings. At this time, we will not be able to reinscribe the party but here we have the next spokesperson of the PIP in the Senate… and Denis [Márquez] came for revenge and won,” Santiago said about the election of the two candidates for legislators-at-large running under the PIP banner.
Electoral law establishes that, to remain inscribed for the next election, a political party must obtain 3% of total full party votes issued during the election, or 5% of the total votes received by the elected gubernatorial candidate. After 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, it was evident to the PIP that it would not reach any of those milestones.
“The struggle for independence does not depend on whether we get one point more or less. The struggle depends on willpower, and in the PIP we have plenty of that,” Santiago said in a combative tone, adding that with the party’s reinscription process, the campaign for independence continues.
Santiago stressed the importance of the PIP having once again representation in both legislative chambers because it is from that “front” that the great battles against the fiscal control board imposed by the U.S. federal government will take place.
“The main political work next year will be to oppose the board… many of the battles that will be waged, will be waged from the legislative front,” Santiago pointed out.
The pro-independence leader noted that the election, in terms of the results obtained by the majority parties, evidenced the existence of discontent by part of Puerto Ricans to the political parties “that take turns assuming power.”
About the election of José A. Vargas Vidot as senator-at-large, who obtained more votes than any other candidate without having the resources to organize a full-blown campaign, Santiago stressed that he is “a very well-known figure, very respected, and whose work I value.”
Santiago argued that political campaigns are complicated processes in which a huge number of variables are at play, and on which candidates frequently do not have control.