‘Army of volunteers’ helps CVM mayoral candidate Natal in vote review
By Pedro Correa Henry
Special to The Star
“We are more, and we fear nothing! We are more, and we fear nothing!”
This is what hundreds of citizens chanted on Wednesday as they gathered at the State Elections Commission (SEC) Absentee and Early Vote Administrative Board at Roberto Clemente Coliseum in Hato Rey to voluntarily assist Citizen Victory Movement (CVM) San Juan mayoral candidate Manuel Natal Albelo in reviewing votes from Tuesday’s general elections.
The chant was taken up as New Progressive Party (NPP) electoral officials were taunting CVM supporters by shouting “Four more years, four more years!” as both groups waited for the SEC to open the ballot count area, which was supposed to open at 1 p.m. but was delayed for more than two hours.
Earlier in the day, Natal Albelo called on citizens via Twitter to go to the CVM’s Río Piedras headquarters at 11 a.m. to receive vote count training as he was locked in a tight race with NPP mayoral candidate Miguel Romero for the leadership of the island capital, where the current lawmaker had only 429 more votes than his opponent at press time.
“Throughout this campaign process, we have spoken transparently to the people of San Juan. We are in the fight for the Mayor’s Office and we need your help,” Natal Albelo said. “If you were a CVM Official during the electoral process and have the time to help in the next few days, we are waiting for you. If you have not been an officer and want to help, we are also waiting for you. We will defend the will for change of the people of San Juan.”
Little did he know, the support was about to be overwhelming.
“An army of volunteers has filled our committee and the Plaza de la Convalecencia committed to making the will of the people be respected,” said Natal Albelo as pictures and videos released on social media showed more than a hundred citizens, mostly wearing black shirts, listening to the mayoral candidate.
Natal also reported that he appointed lawyer and former electoral commissioner Guillermo San Antonio Acha, as its representative during the vote counting.
The lawyer will ensure the transparency of the process and that “all votes are counted and the will of the people is respected.”
PDP SJ mayoral candidate congratulates whoever ultimately wins, begins propaganda removal
Meanwhile, Popular Democratic Party (PDP) San Juan mayoral candidate Rossana López León expressed her gratitude for the thousands of San Juan citizens who voted for her in the general elections and congratulated whoever is finally elected mayor of San Juan.
“There are still votes to count and my solidarity is with the entire electoral component that is doing a very important job,” she said. “Whoever is finally elected, Manuel Natal or Senator Romero, deserve to have the cooperation of all the capital’s residents, because the challenges are big and serious.”
The PDP senator asked her campaign team to begin removing all pieces of political campaign advertising, that of municipal assembly candidates included.
“There are some initiatives, bills, and proposals that I believe are very important and I will leave them in writing so that the Senate majority considers them,” López León said. “I continue in the PDP capital city presidency and, soon, we will begin the reorganization of all party structures. There’s much more to be done, and, as I insisted in the campaign, public service is my vocation.”