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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor to submit shortlist of possible SEC chair picks

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Thursday that he will submit a shortlist of possible nominees for chairperson of the State Elections Commission (SEC) in the coming days.

“We’re going to be making appointments. We are going to submit a shortlist of three additional candidates for chairperson of the State Elections Commission,” the governor said in response to questions from the press. “How this works is that they are submitted to the electoral commissioners of the five parties; that is the first step. We’ll see if there’s consensus. As long as there is no consensus, as long as the Legislature does not act, the alternate chairperson, Judge Jessika Padilla, has all the power under the law to direct the work of the State Elections Commission.”

Pierluisi insisted that the vacancy atop the SEC is not his fault.

“We’re going to be complying with the process of submitting other candidates and I hope that the others, everyone who participates in this process, is fair, prudent and reasonable,” he said. “If they want to have someone in [place] permanently, then let them cooperate, because obviously the one who appoints is yours truly and they can continue to hinder all my appointments and we are going to stay in the same place. Since when can all those I appoint then not receive the go-ahead? There is no prudence. It cannot be that all those whom I appoint, all the judges whom I appoint, are not suitable. What it appears to be is intransigence, a desire to obstruct. As long as I see that attitude, I’ll keep Judge Padilla in charge as chair.”

Senate President José Luis Dalmau Santiago announced meanwhile that he would return to the Court of First Instance after the ordinary session ended on Tuesday. According to Judge Alfonso Martínez Piovanetti’s decision, Padilla Rivera was to have completed her duties as acting chair of the SEC on the last day of the regular session.

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