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Pierluisi is calling for another referendum on General Election Day

Pierluisi is calling for another referendum on General Election Day

Independence, statehood, or sovereignty freely associated with the United States?

With the Creole referendum coming up on November 5, Governor Pedro Pierluisi has called for a consultation on the situation on the day of the general election this Monday.

This was announced by the first executive at a press conference in La Fortaleza, explaining that his decision was under the provision of Law 165 of 2020, which allows the governor to hold a referendum without the approval of the legislature. The process will be carried out after signing an executive order (OE-2024-16).

This Act establishes the procedures and parameters for the conduct of any electoral consultation aimed at implementing the electoral will of a majority of the electorate in the November 3, 2020 referendum regarding the political status of Puerto Rico, proposed or requested by one or both houses of Congress, the President of the United States, or both.

The question in that referendum: Should Puerto Rico be immediately admitted to the Union as a state? The options are “yes” or “no”. “Yes” won with 52.2% (623,053 votes) and “No” with 47.48% (567,346 votes).

“A referendum held on the day of the general election will give voters the opportunity to choose one of three non-colonial and non-territorial alternatives included in the federal bill HR 8393, known as the “Puerto Rico Status Act”, which was approved by the United States House of Representatives in December 2022. These status alternatives are currently in Congress. HR 2757 and S. 3231 are part of the bills in 2020, supported by the majority of Puerto Rico’s statehood, independence and independent sovereignty with the United States,” Pierluisi reported.

The governor indicated that the advisory would include definitions of the three status options in three congressional bills. He promised that the ballot would have the same text in Spanish and English, and that each voter would be able to read and choose an option on the day of the consultation.

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“It is important to note that there is no congressional action to address our century-old status quo issue. Puerto Rico has a right, I would say a moral obligation, to continue to press and assert the right to self-determination and demand that Congress respond satisfactorily to the will of our people. So, as many times as it takes to vote to end the colony, do it. At the same time, the issue of our political status remains unresolved which greatly affects the economy, access to services and the lack of equal rights of our people. A few days before July 4th, the anniversary of the founding of the United States, that liberty, equality, human rights, and the common good are at the heart of its government, it is shameful for American citizens to accept it. “People who live in Puerto Rico don’t get the same treatment as their counterparts in the States,” Pierluzzi said.

Along with the advisory, voters will be offered five ballots in the Nov. 5 general election: governor and residential commissioner; Municipality; Legislative Assembly; Creole Consultation and US Presidential Elections. The latter would be a “symbolic” exercise, as islanders would not have that voting right.

According to Pierluzzi, in the State Electoral Commission (CEE) – responsible for the ballot printing process – an economic item was allocated to cover the costs of consultation, which includes, in addition to the design and copying of ballots, a voter education process.

“It is important to note that in the absence of Congressional action to resolve our century-old status quo issue, Puerto Rico has a right, and I would say a moral obligation, to press and reassert its right to self-determination. Congress must respond satisfactorily to the will of the people. So, how many times should we vote to end the colony? It must be done. Enough of the inequality,” he insisted. “There can be no place for the colonies in America, where democracy is based on government of the people, for the people, and by the people.”

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On the other hand, he knows there are advocates for a constitutional assembly with status, but he does not support it because he thinks “the people should express themselves directly and without intermediaries”.

“Finally, what are we going to do with that constitutional status assembly that some people want to hold? Kings, Freedmen and Sovereigns. Here we have an opportunity to support each of those options based on the definitions given to us by the US Congress, particularly the House of Representatives. What’s better than that? “That speaks volumes more than anything,” he noted.

Reactions to the poll

Leader of the New Progressive Party, Jennifer GonzalezPierluisi supported the announcement.

“The decision taken by the governor today is correct. As I said before, Law 165-2020 makes it possible to consult. The measure we approved in the Federal House of Representatives and presented in the Senate strengthens our fight to end colonialism,” the gubernatorial candidate said through his X account (formerly Twitter).

A coalition formed by the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) and the Citizen Victory Movement (MVC) led their opposition to the consultation called for by Act 165.

Juan DalmauThe gubernatorial candidate for PIP has announced that he will challenge in court a law that gives the governor of Puerto Rico the power to decide the boundaries of referendum alternatives as unconstitutional.

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“Another deception for government officials. Those of us who believe strongly in decolonization do not poll lies. The PIP is going to challenge in court the governor’s call for a referendum through an ordinance. We will fight this fraud in all forums. My commitment as Governor of Puerto Rico is to convene a Status Assembly where no one gives up their status option and we force Congress to act,” Dalmau expressed through written statements.

“Once again, a PNP governor is calling for an inappropriate plebiscite on the same day as general elections,” the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) leader said for his part. Jesus Manuel Ortiz. “This move is another move by the PNP to divert the attention of the poor governments that are trying to mobilize their forces for the elections,” added the gubernatorial candidate, who announced that he will convene his board of governors this Wednesday. party to discuss the company’s position in what he described as a “futile exercise”.

On the other hand, the Washington-based commissioner candidate for PPD, Pablo Jose Hernandez, highlighted the following in his account of X: “The governor’s call for a Creole and anti-democratic referendum reflects once again the PNP’s warped priorities. As Citizenship Commissioner, I will focus on economic development, equality and reconstruction, not on the political status of PR.