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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Elections commission dismisses complaints against ‘water’ candidates

Former Sen. Eudaldo Báez Galib

By The Star Staff

The State Elections Commission (SEC) has dismissed complaints filed by former Popular Democratic Party Sen. Eudaldo Báez Galib and by pro-statehood lawyer Gregorio Igartúa that had asked the entity to take action against the so-called political “water candidates.”

Igartúa provided the information to the STAR Tuesday.

“They dismissed them because they were not filed correctly,” Igartúa told the STAR.

When the Puerto Rican Independence Party and the Citizen Victory Movement (MVC by its Spanish initials) decided to join in a partnership for this year’s election, each party had a candidate for a position but in reality was not aspiring to run for it and instead is supporting the other party’s candidate. The concept gained notoriety when Javier Córdoba Iturregui, a professor, announced he would be the gubernatorial candidate for the MVC even though the party was supporting the candidacy of Juan Dalmau Ramírez, the gubernatorial candidate for the Puerto Rican Independence Party.

Báez Galib wrote to the SEC informing them that water candidates violate election laws.

He cited a 1998 case in which Rosa Ramírez Pantojas, mother of former New Progressive Party Rep. Albita Rivera Ramírez, tried to run for a seat in the Senate that apparently she was saving for her daughter. At that time, Rivera Ramírez publicly said that, if her mother prevailed, she would keep the elective position. However, former Rep. Carlos Calcador Berríos challenged the matter in court.

The Supreme Court ruled that candidates have to truly aspire to assume the position they are running for.

Báez Galib alleged that the water candidates are not interested in the position to which they aspire but rather transfer their interest to a rival.

Igartúa also filed a complaint on Jan. 16 stating that “this is not a mixed vote but a conspiracy to exchange votes between two political parties.”

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