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New Progressive Party (NPP) leader Charlie Rodríguez.

Washington - The "Our Revolution" movement, inspired by Bernie Sanders, sent yesterday to the US Democratic Committee (DNC) its official complaint requesting a new election to choose the Puerto Rican Democratic executive committee.

Michael McCall, lawyer of two of the plaintiffs, sent a letter to DNC Director of Party Affairs, Patrice Taylor, before the August 24 Credentials Committee meeting in Chicago (Illinois), the authority that will review the complaints made on the island.

Since February 7, 2017, plaintiffs Damaris Delgado Vega and Maruxa Cárdenas Surillo have been denouncing the election in which a group of state Democrats chose former New Progressive Party (NPP) leader Charlie Rodríguez as president of the US Democratic Party in Puerto Rico; Johanne Vélez as vice president; the mayor of Ponce, María Meléndez, as national committeewoman; and Luis Dávila Pernas as national committeeman.

Among other things, they maintain that the election was improperly convened and held without the quorum required by internal regulation.

But, now, after El Nuevo Día revealed a series of emails from the island´s Democratic leadership, "Our Revolution Puerto Rico" claimed that the revision process of their complaints has not complied with the due process of law; it has been unethical and unfair. Therefore, they demand a new election.

"With the information that the DNC has on how the Puerto Rican Democratic Party has denied the basic fundamental principles of due process of law in the adjudication of the challenges, the Credentials Committee must order a new election or it will be an accomplice of the abuse in the process," said McCall in the communication sent yesterday to the American community.

Previously, a group of Democrats of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) had also submitted complaints, following the disclosure of e-mails from Democratic Party officials on the island.

The complaints against the Puerto Rican Democratic leadership come at a time when the DNC tries to leave behind the 2016 internal controversy, in which its own directors admitted that they had favored Hillary Clinton over Sanders during the Democratic presidential elections.

"If the February 7 election is not revoked, then the due process requires the appointment of a new examiner from outside of Puerto Rico - without ties to local political parties - to conduct new hearings, and that officer should be granted the power to demand documents and testimonial evidence under penalty of contempt on unethical “ex parte” communications that affected the fairness of the indicated procedures ... and question Rodríguez's aptitude to lead the local Democratic Party," said McCall in his letter.

McCall also warns that although Rodríguezand one of the members of the Affirmative Action Committee, Álvaro Cifuentes, have said that the Credentials Committee will examine the complaints introduced at their August 24 meeting, no one has notified them.

In his letter, McCall included the El Nuevo Día reports that revealed that Cifuentes sent emails to Rodríguez with drafts of the opinion that locally validated last year's election.

Also, prior to the hearing, Cifuentes referred to Rodríguez and Anthony Maceira - hearings process examiner and Ports Authority Director - a memorandum that has now been disclosed, with recommendations from Harold Ickes, who is a DNC Rules Committee member and Puerto Rico Affirmative Action Committee consultant.

Rodríguez insists that he never received the drafts of the opinion that Cifuentes sent him. Although Maceira answered "I do not remember" to the question about whether he has seen the Ickes memorandum, former senator Rodríguez - who was included in the same email - does not deny having received it.

The emails exchange between Rodríguez and Manuel Ortiz - Governor Rosselló's lobbyist and member of the Credentials Committee - about their efforts and talks to defeat the challenges before that DNC commission, is also under discussion.

Furthermore, McCall stressed that, both in an interview with El Nuevo Día as in the Affirmative Action Committee opinion, it is acknowledged that the ultimate goal was having in the local Democratic executive committee people who empathise with Governor Rosselló.


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