PPT begins evaluation process, acknowledges independent candidates
SAN JUAN — Although the Working People’s Party (PPT by its Spanish acronym) didn’t garner enough votes in the last elections, to be inscribed as an official party, its president and former gubernatorial candidate, Rafael Bernabe, remains optimistic about the collective’s future thanks to thousands of voters’ support to independent candidates.
The 266,535 votes allotted to independent candidates Alexandra Lúgaro and Manuel Cidre is evidence that both the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) and New Progressive Party (NPP) are losing their control, affirmed the PPT politician and historian.
“The appearance of independent candidates in these elections definitely makes the PPT enter to a reevaluation process, which is always done after an election. But not just the PPT. I understand that the other parties have to explore this new scenario and have to re-evaluate what has been done traditionally, because what that incursion of independent candidates has represented is the dismantlement of the ordinary electoral course,” added former PPT Resident Commissioner candidate Mariana Nogales Molinelli.
Along that line, Bernabe and former PPT candidate for the San Juan municipal legislature Jorge Farinacci Fernós emphasized that it is the first time the NPP wins an election with less than 42% of votes; that the PDP obtained less than 40% of votes; and, that an independent Senate candidate, José Vargas Vidot, obtained the most amount of votes among his colleagues.
“We are in a changing process. The country is looking for changes, but it still hasn’t articulated adequately what is that change it is looking for, and the PPT wants to be part of that change. We have never visualized ourselves as the only ones, the ones who have the truth grabbed by the sleeve. We have particular ideas that we defend and will always defend. But this is a moment of deep evaluation in which we must all reflect and analyze how we can contribute to the growth of the country’,” determined Farinacci Fernós.
In fact, both Nogales Molinelli and former Caguas District 32 representative candidate Pablo Aymat affirmed that the collective is open to establish alliances with the independent candidates, including Vargas Vidot.
“We understand that the PPT’s message is a good message for Puerto Rico, and in terms of economic reconstruction, the Puerto Rican Economists Association indicated that the PPT platform is the best platform for economic development. So now we have to work on how to deliver that message; how the people receive it; and how the people feel incorporated in that job, so we can be a viable option,” stated Nogales Molinelli when questioned about her party’s evaluation process of last November’s election results and the need to reorganize the collective.
For his part, Farinacci Fernós understands the collective’s expectation is for this analytical process to be inclusive and not to limit itself merely to its members. Thus, he advanced that by early 2017, they expect to hold a assembly to determine the PPT’s future. Likewise, they will perform regional gatherings.
PPT Selects Spokespersons
Among other aspects, the PPT announced that as part of the collective’s reorganization they have selected their spokespeople: Bernabe; Nogales Molinelli; Aymat; Farinacci; PPT elected municipal legislator for San Sebastián, Saraí Vázquez Durán; and ‘Juventud Trabajadora’ (Working Youth) leader Alexa Paola Figueroa.
According to Nogales Molinelli, “this new platform represents the diversity of voices, of people and age groups that are in our party, as well as [diversity] in status visions. But we have in common a social-justice program and defense of the working people’s interests and rights, and of the vulnerable social sectors that will need even more help during this four-year term. We are reaffirming our commitment to fight here, from within all our diverse grouos.”
On the other hand, the party’s leaders informed the creation of a caucus of municipal legislators.
“In the past elections we had Elda Guadalupe, who in 2012 was the PPT municipal legislator in Vieques. And apart from Elda there are three more candidates. Well there’s me, there is Ángel “Bebo” Ortiz in Moca, and Freddy Candelaria in Hatillo, who will work as PPT municipal legislators,” detailed Vázquez Durán.
“PPT legislators understand that we will make the difference, and we will soon announce our new measures to present them simultaneously,” he added.
According to Aymat, the municipal committees are already holding meetings, and an invitation was extended for citizens to participate in the collective’s reorganization process to auscultate how they can contribute to the island.