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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor: Time is now to approve amendments to Electoral Code

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Tuesday that he has no problem with keeping the Electoral Code as it is, if the controversy over the approval of proposed amendments persists.

“I disagree with the approach of some that the Electoral Code was not effective in the last elections. For me, it worked,” the governor said in response to questions from the press. “And it can be improved. But if there is a roadblock and they do not want to endorse any amendment, we will live with the current Electoral Code. The others, those who wanted to improve it, missed the opportunity. It’s as simple as that.”

At the moment, the proposed amendments to the Electoral Code have not been approved because, House Speaker Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montañez said, the Senate, which had a session on Tuesday, has not confirmed whether it will form a conference committee after the two chambers failed to concur on the amendments. In addition, incoming Popular Democratic Party President Rep. Jesús Manuel Ortiz González has asked for time to take a position on the amendments.

“Whoever wants to improve that Code, the opportunity they have is now. If what they want is to keep it and not improve it, then that is their decision, not ours,” Pierluisi said. “If others don’t have openness to improve it, then they missed the opportunity to do so.”

On the possibility that the amendments to the Electoral Code are not approved and current State Elections Commission Chairman Francisco Rosado Colomer would finish his duties in December, Pierluisi said “the law requires that whoever is presiding over the commission has to be a judge.”

“That scenario, if it occurs, would be unfortunate, because we lose a great jurist in the judicial system on the one hand and, on the other hand, we lose the one who chaired the State Elections Commission in the last elections and already has a proven track record,” the governor said. “We don’t have to invent. Now we will see what emerges in that legislative process, where what I hope should prevail is the seriousness, reasonableness and stability that we all want in our electoral system.”

Meanwhile, legislators from the Citizen Victory Movement, Puerto Rican Independence Party and Dignity Project, as well as independents José Vargas Vidot in the Senate and Luis Raúl Torres Cruz in the House of Representatives, have expressed their opposition to approving amendments to the Electoral Code.

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