Puerto Rico House Speaker requests pro-commonwealth party supporters not be shunned
SAN JUAN — Puerto Rico House Speaker Carlos “Johnny” Méndez urged Popular Democratic Party (PDP) President Héctor Ferrer not to penalize his party’s supporters who participate in the political-status referendum being held Sunday.
“As of Thursday night, there have been hundreds of Popular Party supporters who have communicated with us to state their intention of voting tomorrow [Sunday]. They, just like thousands of other Puerto Ricans, understood that what is at stake in the plebiscite is the U.S. citizenship and the permanent union that is only guaranteed by statehood,” Méndez said in a written statement.
“The current PDP leadership must understand that its voters, who treasure American citizenship, can participate in the event tomorrow [Sunday] without fear. That the leadership can’t punish them in any way for expressing their constitutional right in the ballot. There shouldn’t be vote suppression in Puerto Rico. That is why we hope Popular leaders who vote tomorrow are not punished,” he added.
The speaker’s statement was backed up unanimously by the New Progressive Party (NPP) delegation in that legislative body.
Méndez participated in the closing events organized by the party on the grounds of the house in Bayamón of the statehood movement’s founder, José Celso Barbosa.