Embattled SEC chief Dávila finally steps down

By The Star Staff

Juan Ernesto Dávila said that right after the longest primary in Puerto Rico’s history he was going to resign from the chairmanship of the State Elections Commission (SEC).

Weeks later it finally happened.

Dávila presented his immediate resignation Thursday after being absent from a meeting with party electoral commissioners on the November election. The now former head of the SEC said he didn’t want to be a distraction.

“With immediate effect, I resign as Chairman of the State Elections Commission,” Dávila said in a written statement. “The well being of my family, friends and [fellow] church [members] lead me to make this decision. I pray to the Lord for the good of Puerto Rico, the SEC and the electoral commissioners. I don’t want to be a distraction at this point in our history. Now, it must be clear that at all times I have acted within the framework of the law and have had the best welfare of Puerto Rico as our goal.”

Dávila gave assurances that he has continued working on the coordination of the general election, including payments required for the ballots to be printed.

“Since I wish the best for our island, I have continued working with the procedures for the General Election and everything is proceeding in due course,” he said in the statement. “Authorization has already been requested from the Department of the Treasury to make the advance payment required by PRINTECH, as a condition for printing of the ballots.”

“I am not resigning because I think that any of the complaints filed against me have any chance of proceeding,” Dávila added. “In fact, the Court of Appeals has already dismissed most of them. In the public arena, several lies, insults and slander about this [public] servant have been mentioned. Telling a lie repeatedly does not make it true. To those who have made these statements I say: God bless you. Thanks to all the people who have supported me through these difficult weeks. I appreciate your concern and sense of brotherhood. I ask our God that the electoral event of November 3, 2020 can be given as our People deserve. This will require the teamwork of all political parties in the SEC. Regardless of the circumstances, it has been an honor for me to be able to serve the People of Puerto Rico from the SEC. These will be my only statements on this matter.”

After Dávila’s announcement, Popular Democratic Party Sen. Aníbal José Torres said “[t]he late resignation of the SEC chief should be reason enough for the NPP [New Progressive Party] to stop using [island] institutions as if they were its campaign committee.

“It is time to seek a consensus,” Torres said. “Don’t continue harming Puerto Rico.”

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