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NPP official scrutinizes Bernier over status referendum comments

By on February 4, 2017

SAN JUAN — New Progressive Party (NPP) Secretary-General Rafael “June” Rivera Ortega scrutinized Popular Democratic Party (PDP) President David Bernier after the latter said it was “unfortunate” that the administration approved the Law for the Immediate Decolonization of Puerto Rico.

PDP President David Bernier concedes his defeat for the gubernatorial race in Nov. 8. (CB photo)

PDP President David Bernier (CB photo)

“Whoever doesn’t understand that Puerto Rico’s economic problems are linked to the commonwealth shows total disconnection from our political reality. Frankly, it’s unfortunate that David Bernier remains distanced from the colony’s consequences on our economy,” denounced Rivera Ortega in written declarations.

See also: Ricardo Rosselló Signs ‘Single Employer’ Act

The NPP official stated that Bernier’s stance against the plebiscite created by the law, which excludes the commonwealth from its status options, and the argument that the administration should focus on improving the economy instead of decolonization “is what lead Puerto Rico to bankruptcy.”

According to Rivera Ortega, in order to overcome the economic crisis, Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s administration has approved different measures that will set the terms to create more jobs, such as the Labor Transformation & Flexibility Act, known as the Labor Reform, and the Single Employer Act. Despite ongoing controversy and skepticism from employees in the public and private sectors, as well as Legislative minority groups, the administration has reaffirmed both will lead to job creations and public savings.

However, NPP officials have placed particular emphasis on the status referendum. Specifically, the option for statehood, which has been met with opposition from the PDP and the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP), as both delegations argue that the act’s language favors statehood over sovereignty.

See also: PIP to Decide Tomorrow on Referendum Participation

Nonetheless, both the NPP and PIP share the common belief of stripping Puerto Rico from its territorial status in order to achieve economic and social prosperity and well-being.

“Now, we are headed for the most important step, which is to end our territorial condition,” stated Rivera Ortega.

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