PDP president says boycott of Puerto Rico vote defeated statehood
SAN JUAN – The president of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP), Héctor Ferrer, concluded Sunday afternoon that statehood lost during the referendum after eight out of 10 voters decided not to go to the polls, boycotting the vote.
“In times of challenges, there is no room for individual struggles or protagonism. The collective well-being surpasses individual interests and the country understood that. Eight out of 10 voters responded to the boycott. The boycott defeated statehood today. Time has proven us right. The greatly defeated today, besides statehood, is Ricardo Rosselló,” Ferrer said.
Alongside members of the PDP and the party’s secretary, Carlos “Charlie” Delgado Altieri, Ferrer explained that statehood lost 300,000 votes, when comparing the results of Sunday’s referendum with the one carried out in 2012.
In 2012, out of a total of 1,878,969 voters who participated in the referendum, statehood won 834,191 votes in favor.
As of this writing Sunday, statehood reached 497,528 votes with 96.53% of the polling schools counted. This represents 97% of the electorate that participated in the so-called Plebiscite for Immediate Decolonization for Puerto Rico.
“Today the great loser is Ricardo Rosselló. The voters did not go out to vote … Look at the numbers. Seventy-eight percent of voters didn’t vote. Even cheating, they couldn’t win … Even taking 20% of the votes of the able voters, they lost 300,000 votes in four years. Statehood is dead. Ricardo Rosselló buried statehood. I challenge him to go to Washington with those numbers,” Ferrer reiterated.
Regarding the possibility of electoral fraud, the party president said that will be known in the coming weeks.
The party has sent letters to certain voters so they in turn corroborate if their names appear in the State Elections Commission as referendum voters.
How will the PDP refute the New Progressive Party’s (NPP) explanation that Puerto Rico’s population has decreased in the past four years, Caribbean Business asked Ferrer.
“If the excuse of the NPP is that people have left Puerto Rico, then thanks to Ricardo Rosselló 165,000 voters left in six months. Since Ricardo Rosselló assumed the governorship, 165,000 voters who voted for him, according to their numbers, left Puerto Rico,” he replied.
In the 2016 general elections, the governor got 660,510 votes out of a total 1,580,184 participating voters.
In the NPP primary between Rosselló and then-Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, 467,000 people participated.
How are you going put forward in Congress that the abstention was a vote against statehood if the people who count in democracies are those who participate, CB asked.
“Fair, clean and legal processes count in a democracy. Rigged processes don’t count in a democracy [nor do] the processes used to deceive the country. That is why out of every 10 voters, eight did not go to vote. That’s where the country’s democracy is,” Ferrer replied.
The Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP), the Sovereignty Union Movement (MUS), the Hostosian National Independence Movement (MINH), former independent candidate for Gov. Alexandra Lúgaro, PIP Sen. Juan Dalmau and others participated in the so-called boycott.