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Puerto Rico’s PDP to challenge constitutionality of Tennessee Plan law

By on June 7, 2017

PDP President Héctor Ferrer says the Constitution prohibits the use of public funds for private purposes in a political campaign. (Courtesy)

SAN JUAN – Popular Democratic Party (PDP) President Héctor Ferrer announced Wednesday that he will challenge in court next week the constitutionality of the Equality and Congressional Representation of the U.S. Citizens of Puerto Rico Act, known as the Tennessee Plan.

Accompanied by a group of lawyers, Ferrer said that if this law isn’t stopped in court, it would be repealed in 2021, or as soon as the PDP wins the general election and assumes power.

He also assured that Puerto Rico’s Constitution is very specific in prohibiting the use of public funds to campaign for a political ideology, such as statehood.

Puerto Rico governor approves Tennessee Plan

Ricardo Rosselló‘s administration, in its fanaticism to achieve statehood, approved a law that is patently unconstitutional. This law will allow to send seven NPP [New Progressive Party] lobbyists to Washington, paid for by public funds to push the pro-statehood cause. As of today, we warn them that every dollar they use to lobby Congress and the White House will have to be returned to the Treasury. We will not allow Rosselló and [Resident Commissioner] Jenniffer [González] to continue allocating our scarce public resources to fanaticism and obstinacy for statehood,” Ferrer declared in a press conference in PDP headquarters, in San Juan’s Puerta de Tierra.

The PDP president made reference to several cases that establish the rule prohibiting the use of public funds for private purposes of a political campaign. Ferrer also called on Puerto Ricans not to participate in Sunday’s vote.

“The Popular [Democratic] Party has always defended democracy and exercising the right to vote. However, at this time, we cannot give our consent and our vote for a process that does not work, is not binding and is only deceives our people,” he said.

Observers travel to Puerto Rico for its status referendum

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