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Puerto Rico Supreme Court Petitioned to Hear Case of Rosselló’s Election as Congressional Delegate

By on July 15, 2021

SAN JUAN — In a last attempt to disqualify former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares as a shadow delegate to lobby for Puerto Rico statehood in the U.S. Congress, a petition was filed Thursday, for the Puerto Rico Supreme Court to hear the case.

The appeal asks the top court to reverse the Puerto Rico Court of Appeals decision that gave the seal of approval for Rosselló’s election as a “shadow” congressional delegate. At the same time, the petition of certiorari highlights the importance of clarifying a candidate’s residence to comply with local law and defining electoral eligibility.

The Puerto Rico Court of Appeals had revoked a decision by a San Juan District Court judge who disqualified Rosselló as a delegate, determining that the first decision had been “premature” and “without jurisdiction.”

Rosselló garnered the most write-in votes in an election held in May in which voters chose six delegates to lobby Congress for Puerto Rico’s annexation as a state.

But the petition filed Thursday centered on the issue of Rosselló’s eligibility, the lack of clarity regarding whether the former governor could claim his residence to be in Puerto Rico or in the U.S. mainland, and if the ambiguity could lead to electoral victories that had to be accepted without clarifying a candidate’s residence.

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