Dalmau Santiago says he wants to remain as PDP president
By John McPhaul
Popular Democratic Party (PDP) President José Luis Dalmau Santiago announced on Thursday his desire to continue in his position until the primaries.
In addition, he will call for a vote of the PDP faithful so that they can choose whether they favor commonwealth or a free associated state as Puerto Rico’s political status, and select new members of the party’s governing board.
“Today I tell you that I will make myself available to the PDP people to continue in the presidency of the Popular Party, and, furthermore, that I will campaign and ask for an affirmative vote for the development of the commonwealth, which is the crowning achievement of the founder of this movement for social change, which is called the Popular Democratic Party,” Dalmau Santiago, who is also the president of the island Senate, said in a 10-minute recorded message. “With this step, we will lead a true institutional reorganization, which will be based on the sacred principle of the right to vote, which turns out to be the most important legacy that Mr. Luis Muñoz Marín taught us. Popular, let’s go to the polls!”
Later on Thursday the PDP mayor of Morovis, Carmen Maldonado, announced that she will challenge Dalmau Santiago for the presidency of the red party.
Dalmau Santiago meanwhile announced earlier in the day that “I will be calling an open vote of all the affiliated voters of the Popular Democratic Party so that you … are the ones who will select the leaders who will direct the destinies of the Popular Party in the governing board for the next few years; and, furthermore, for them to express themselves on the ideological agenda that our party must assume on the way to the future.”
The PDP veteran added that “its results will become a forceful, unquestionable and unappealable mandate of the popular base.”
“In this open vote, voters affiliated with the Popular Democratic Party will select the next governing board that includes: the new president of the party, the vice presidents, the at-large delegates, the delegates by districts, the chair of the women, the youth chairman and all other representative positions that require a vote.”
The PDP president also announced that the vote will be “if they want the future of the Commonwealth to be through free association or under a new model of autonomous development of the Commonwealth that preserves our own government, our fiscal autonomy, our cultural identity and the rights and privileges that our American citizenship grants us.”