• The Star Staff

Ex-San Juan mayor blames Legislature, governor for primary elections fiasco

By John McPhaul


Former San Juan Mayor Héctor Luis Acevedo blamed the Legislative Assembly and Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced for the primary elections fiasco that occurred Sunday during the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) and New Progressive Party (NPP) primaries.

“What happened today is the result of the imposition of the NPP on the country by an [State Elections Commission] president without support or experience. Party loyalty is not enough to run an election,” Acevedo said in a written statement. “Respect, credibility and competence are lacking. The primaries were two months late so there was more time to print the ballots. Experience and competence are not sold in the supermarket.”

Acevedo, a politician from the minority PDP, said legislative irresponsibility did not help by amending the Primary Law the day before the originally scheduled primaries in June and unilaterally passing the Electoral Law, thereby assaulting the integrity and trust of the electoral process.

He called the move a coup d’etat by Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz and Vázquez that involved taking over the entire State Elections Commission (SEC), kicking out the most experienced people to increase the salary of the inexperienced SEC president, and remaining with one-party control.

“Removing the [previous SEC] president and bringing in another subordinate to the president of the Senate does not solve the problem,” Acevedo said. “That would be to cover up the great underlying problem.”