Governor Ricardo Rosselló last night signed the amendments to the plebiscite, among them, that of the territorial status in effect as an option in the June 11 consultation.
Now, the State Elections Commission (CEE, by its Spanish acronym) is faced with the challenge of seeking a mechanism that bestows the plebiscite with purity and reliability after pro independence and popular parties opted to not any of their members participate as poll workers during the event.
This decision leaves the New Progressive Party, the promoter of the consultation, by itself while maintaining it in its agenda for June 11. Rosselló had previously warned that he was working with the federal authorities to obtain the support for the plebiscite which, as he understands it, and if he is able to get Congress to support the consultation and the result is binding, will constitute a difficult scenario for those who propose a boycott.
That being the case, the CEE, which electoral balance depends on the participation of all the parties, must determine what to do.
“I have no career functionaries to tend to that, which according to the law and the regulations falls in the hands of the representatives of the parties. It is something we have to address once we look at the regulation of the process and the course of action of each party,” said the president of the CEE, Liza García, after stressing that they are fully prepared to comply with that established in the plebiscite law.
García noted that the amendments to that statute could give rise to a legal battle. She explained that, one of the amendments eliminates Article 10.009 of the Elections Law which allows for a recount in the general vote tallying process. “Historically, that provision has been intended, during the general vote count, to address discrepancies when matching the number of voters with ballots cast in polling stations,” she explained.
“It is the guarantee that the CEE has used during general vote tallying to enable verification of those polling stations which may exhibit any discrepancy,” added García.
That too was eliminated from the regulation created for the plebiscite. Therefore, when discussing this document, or following the plebiscite and in the event of discrepancies at polling stations, this matter could be brought to the attention of the CEE, which meets today.
Yesterday, the pro sovereignty front joined the boycott against the plebiscite, a stance that was previously adopted by the Puerto Rican Pro Independence Party (PIP, by its Spanish acronym). “Naturally we are not going to cooperate with the process and we are not going to have any poll workers in polling stations. An institution cannot be obligated to appoint poll workers, much less in a process for which we are calling a boycott,” said the elections commissioner of the PIP, María de Lourdes Santiago.
Meanwhile, the Popular Democratic Party (PPD, by its Spanish acronym), determined yesterday –through a resolution approved by the Governing Board – to boycott the consultation and campaign to that end. And that is what it will ask the general assembly to ratify when it meets this Sunday. “We are going to actively campaign to take the message to and educate the country against participating in this plebiscite,” said the president of the Pava, Héctor Ferrer.
The Governing Board also requested interim PPD elections commissioner, Miguel Ríos, a report detailing the responsibilities of party members in the CEE. This so that Ferrer may issue a directive against participating in any process intended to make the consultation on status viable. “If we are going to boycott, we’ll boycott it all,” he said.
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