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Perelló: I will not resign my presidency

By on August 28, 2016

SAN JUAN – After the Popular Democratic Party’s (PDP) governing board backed Saturday night David Bernier’s request that House speaker resign, Jaime Perelló reiterated once again that he will continue in his post because he hasn’t been accused of anything by the feds in their public corruption investigation and trial.

Bernier stated that his candidacy for governor under the PDP hinges on Perelló’s resignation from the House’s presidency.

At the end of the marathon meeting Saturday, Perelló said possible solutions were being considered, but that at the end of the day, a “middle ground” consensus couldn’t be reached.

“There have been no expressions by the Governing Board asking for my resignation. Yes, there was an expression backing the [party President David Bernier’s] intention to protect the PDP’s best interests and an open discussion that doesn’t end with me. The president of the PDP has kept his stance. I maintain mine. The PDP Governing Board tried to look for an alternative,” the House Speaker explained.

House Speaker Jaime Perelló

House Speaker Jaime Perelló was asked by PDP President and gubernatorial candidate David Bernier to resign due to his alleged involvement with Anaudi Hernández Pérez, businessman and former fundraiser to the party convicted of fraudulent contract deals with the government.

Perelló clarified that, contrary to the gubernatorial candidate’s plea for his resignation as House speaker, he will not resign.

“Some options were being discussed about the president’s role, a temporary process until this whole hurricane stops,” Perelló said while reiterating there was no request for his resignation by the party’s board.

“There are administrative processes in the House of Representatives. The reality is that, for the moment, the positions remain the same. I will not resign the presidency and the PDP’s president has established some points as to why he believes I should resign. It was discussed in the Governing Board, and there was a statement by the Governing Board backing the president’s intentions,” Perelló said, adding that there is “still space for dialogue.”

The House Speaker explained that there’s no legal situation impeding him from carrying out his presidency.

Amid with Perelló’s refusal, the PDP’s gubernatorial candidate was meeting Sunday with the members of the House’s PDP caucus in which he hopes these are who request their speaker’s resignation.

Bernier cannot legally assemble the PDP caucus because it is presided by Gov. Alejandro García Padilla, who on Friday said he would stay on the sidelines of the controversy.

“The president of the PDP upheld his stance. I maintain mine.” 

On Saturday night, in a lengthy meeting at PDP headquarters in Puerta de Tierra, the party’s Governing board, which comprises 29 members, approved Bernier’s request for the House president’s resignation with 15 votes in favor and four against. This, based on the political damage that not doing so would inflict on the party due to his decision to contract services with convicted businessman and PDP fundraiser Anaudi Hernández Pérez, who led a fraudulent contract scheme with the House of Representatives and other government agencies. In addition, Hernández Pérez was a member of Perelló’s campaign finance committee.

Five board members, including former Gov. Rafael Hernández Colón, abandoned the meeting before the vote was cast.

Those who voted in favor of Perelló’s departure were Bernier, who presented the petition; candidate for resident commissioner Héctor Ferrer; PDP Vice President Brenda López de Arrarás; the party’s former president, Héctor Luis Acevedo; the president of PDP women, Ada Skerret; the Senate’s spokesperson, Aníbal José Torres; San Juan Mayor Carmen “Yulín” Cruz; the representative of the municipal lawmaker majority, Deborah Soto Arroyo; attorney Gil A. Rodríguez; Sens. Jorge Suárez and Martín Vargas; former PDP Federal Affairs Secretary José Alfredo Hernández Mayoral; Rep. Luis Vega Ramos; Isabela Mayor Carlos Delgado; and former Sen. Roberto Prats, who also presided the party.

The former Sen. Victoria Muñoz Mendoza; House spokesperson Carlos Hernández; Rep. Reinaldo Castellanos; and Perelló himself abstained from voting.

The PDP was holding its program and ruling assembly in Caguas on Sunday, where Perelló’s case took the debate focus’ spotlight.




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