NPP accuses Bernier of tolerating corruption
SAN JUAN – New Progressive Party (NPP) Sen. Carmelo Ríos said Thursday that Popular Democratic Party (PDP) President David Bernier didn’t do everything within his power to force former House Speaker Jaime Perelló to stop running for reelection.
Ríos implied that Bernier’s posture proves he tolerates corruption and that the PDP gubernatorial candidate ignored several filed complaints the NPP senator sent him to end Perelló’s reelection bid, as well as that of Sen. Mari Tere González, who plead the Fifth Amendment in federal court and quit running for a Senate seat after having been mentioned in a government corruption trial against four partners of former PDP fundraiser Anaudi Hernández Pérez, and for which the Justice Department will began an investigation.
“This proves once again that Bernier resorts to deceit and false representation to evade assuming a firm stance against corruption. We put the complaints at his disposal, which only by signing them would begin the process to remove Perelló from the ballot, and he ignored them,” the legislator said in a written statement.
The pro-statehood senator presented the complaints he sent Bernier as evidence there was a process based on PDP regulations and electoral law that is able to stop Perelló.
Ríos cited Bernier’s refusal to sign the documents and claimed that the possibility of removing Perelló from his party’s ballot is a closed case that “constitutes further proof that the PDP gubernatorial candidate settled with corruption instead of facing it.”
Political analyst Ramón Rosario, who identifies with the NPP, had previously criticized the PDP president for not “making way” to take Perelló to court to disqualify him from appearing in the ballot, adding that “Article 8.020 of the Electoral Law allows the president to go to court and disqualify a candidate. When he was president, [Pedro] Pierluisi did it twice, with Armando Santos and with Raúl Caraballo [during the recent primary].”
However, political analyst Luis Pabón Roca, affiliated to the PDP, observed the legal route represents a “long” and even costly process with little more than a month before the election Nov. 8.
Perelló stepped down as House speaker after public pressure from Bernier and other PDP politicians. Despite being linked to Hernández Pérez and his alleged scheme to install a switchboard in the House of Representatives, Perelló refused to abandon his seat or his candidacy.
Two complaints filed before the House Ethics Committee to investigate Perelló’s actions were unsuccessful for not meeting basic requirements to conduct an investigation.
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