Governor ready for transition process, advancing ‘Yes-No’ plebiscite results

By The Star Staff

As the different political parties closed their political campaigns on Sunday, Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced announced that she is ready to start the transition process leading to a new governing administration in Puerto Rico, and with the results of the “Yes-No” statehood plebiscite.

The plebiscite will be held Tuesday along with the general election.

As provided by Article 5.9 of Law 51 of 2020, “no later than five days from the certification of the results of the plebiscite the governor will send a copy of the certification to each member of Congress.”

“We are already preparing the certifications to faithfully comply,” Vázquez said in a statement.

Likewise, Article 4.3 establishes that a transition plan to enforce the self-determination results will be delivered no later than 30 days after the certification of the results of the plebiscite to U.S. congressional leaders and to the U.S. president. The transition plan will be prepared by the governor and the resident commissioner with the advice of the Equality Commission.

The governor said she is ready to present and discuss the transition with the resident commissioner as soon as possible. The plan will involve the participation of different members of the executive branch and the Equality Commission both in the negotiations to be carried out with the White House as well as with the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

“This Thursday we will be meeting with our resident commissioner, Jenniffer González, to direct the process and establish the Transition Plan as dictated by law,” the governor said. “The resident commissioner will present the corresponding federal legislation, as provided by law, and the Equality Commission will advocate for its approval in Congress.”

“The voice and will of the people of Puerto Rico will be heard in Congress,” Vázquez added. “It will be the most genuine expression of a people in search of equality and that no U.S. citizen be treated differently for having been born and for living on this beautiful island. Let it be understood that it is not a favor or a gift but rather the claiming of a right.”

The governor reiterated her call that “this November 3 everyone must go out to vote, and especially, like me, vote YES for statehood.”

“The only party that will lead us to statehood is the New Progressive Party,” she said. “Statehood is the only alternative that guarantees permanent union with the United States of America and our U.S. citizenship.”

Meanwhile, Puerto Rican Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Juan Dalmau Ramírez held a virtual election campaign closing event.

“Given the reality that the country is still going through the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that those of us who aspire to lead Puerto Rico assume the corresponding responsibilities and set the example,” he said. “That is why I have decided not to hold mass rallies or caravans and replace them with a virtual closing.”

Popular Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate Carlos “Charlie” Delgado Altieri held a rally and a caravan that left the Peña de la Pava on highway PR-1.

Monique Guzmán, a 45-year-old Dorado resident, said she wanted the PDP to win to get the corrupt officials out of government. She said she is attracted by Delgado Altieri’s administrative skills. However, she said she was inclined to vote “Yes” in the statehood referendum because “I believe in the permanent union.”

George Muñoz, a 34-year-old from Vega Alta who said he is between jobs, said he was tired of the corruption in the governing administration and was going to vote “No.”

“The U.S. has already said it will not pay any attention to the results because the process is designed to make the ‘Yes’ win,” he said.

“I am happy with the current status. We are not a colony,” said 56-year-old Rossana Berlingeri as she waved a PDP flag at passing cars in Dorado.

New Progressive Party (NPP) gubernatorial candidate Pedro Pierluisi held a “drive-in” campaign closing activity in the parking lot of Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium in Bayamón, a traditional NPP bastion.

Alexandra Lúgaro, the gubernatorial candidate for the Citizen Victory Movement, also held a drive-in campaign closing, in the parking lot of Hiram Bithorn Stadium in Hato Rey.

“Anyone who wishes to enter the event but has a fever will not be allowed to enter the premises,” Lúgaro said. “We will have a group of ushers who will be conducting preventive rounds to make sure that spectators stay in their vehicles and wear masks.”

The candidate for governor for the Dignity Project, César Vázquez Muñiz, a cardiologist, held a “rally” on the premises of Plaza Escorial in Carolina.

Maribel Cruz Roldán, Vázquez Muñiz’s campaign director, chided the NPP and its candidate for emphasizing that the NPP was the only party that supported a permanent union with the United States.

“The Dignity Project has never said in its platform or in speeches that it supports separating from the United States,” she said. “We have a group of people from the traditional parties who are tired of the lies and abuse.”

Meanwhile, independent candidate for governor Eliezer Molina said he was going to be on Resistencia Street in Old San Juan starting in the mid-afternoon.

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