PDP to boycott status referendum
SAN JUAN – Popular Democratic Party (PDP) President Héctor Ferrer announced Wednesday evening that the party will boycott the June 11 political status referendum.
The decision was approved unanimously by members of the PDP Governing Board after a three-hour meeting at party headquarters in Puerta de Tierra, San Juan.
After the meeting, Ferrer said the approved resolution “is to recommend the assembly to approve it and to urge, educate, and request PDP supporters–its leadership and the people of Puerto Rico–to boycott and not participate in a rigged referendum, and we encourage active campaigning to that effect.”
In addition, the party board requested PDP Elections Commissioner Miguel Ríos to present a report that details party officials’ responsibilities in the State Elections Commission (CEE by its Spanish acronym).
The petition is intended for the PDP president to be able to issue a mandate that those officials not participate in any process aimed at enabling the approved referendum.
Ferrer explained that the measure would ensure that “if we boycott the process, it be done completely.”
With the PDP’s decision to boycott the vote, the New Progressive Party (NPP) is the vote’s only willing participant because the Puerto Rican Party (PIP) and pro-sovereignty groups such as ALAS, headed by former PDP Sen. José Ortiz Daliot, announced they would not participate in the referendum.
The PDP Governing Board’s decision will be put up for vote before the 5,000 party delegates in the General Assembly, and Ferrer is confident it will be approved. The decision to boycott the plebiscite was approved after the NPP didn’t include the commonwealth as a status option in the ballot.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions questioned the language in the Immediate Decolonization Act, which established the referendum, and demanded the commonwealth status option be included along the options for statehood and free association/independence.
After Gov. Ricardo Rosselló‘s administration accepted the attorney general’s request, pro-independence and -sovereignty sectors decided to not participation in the process because they believe it would no longer be a decolonizing process.