PDP Files Motion in Favor of Vargas Vidot Claim
SAN JUAN – The Popular Democratic Party’s (PDP) electoral commissioner, Guillermo San Antonio Acha, filed a motion regarding the number of endorsements required from independent candidates that aspire to an at-large seat in the legislature. This action comes after the PDP President and gubernatorial candidate David Bernier publicly expressed his support for Dr. José Vargas Vidot’s claim in court against the State Elections Commission (CEE by its Spanish initials), related to the 58,000 required endorsements.
“The PDP will not become an obstacle for good Puerto Ricans who want to serve [Puerto Rico] from other platforms. The requirement of 58,000 endorsements to aspire to the Senate as an independent, as well as for a political party that is interested in registering, and double that of any independent candidate for governor is risible,” Bernier said.
San Antonio Acha explained that “while all independent candidates should have a requisite number of endorsements, it should be reasonable and proportional. In this case, the difference of 94%, which is the same expected for the inscription of a party, constitutes an irrational burden for that candidate, which exceeds what is tolerated by the constitutional dispositions that safeguard the freedoms of expression and association.”
For his part, the electoral commissioner had already taken administrative steps at the CEE to address the situation, as was granting a request by Vargas Vidot so the commission does not dismiss endorsements with insufficient information, which was favored by the CEE and now applies to all candidates who collect endorsements. Also, as proposed by the PDP electoral commissioner, the CEE came to accept a request by Manuel Cidre, and now all independent candidates will have the right to have observers present in the evaluation process of their endorsements.